Four high school seniors provide a perspective on mental health.
Recent upgrades to the Places for People Wellness Center provides persons served and staff members the opportunity to exercise with equipment that rivals any health club.
“Our folks were using the equipment regularly, but lost that opportunity when more and more of it began to break,” explained Occupational Therapist Greg Seymour. “This will return the opportunity for free access to exercise equipment for all of our folks, and, hopefully, improved health indicators related to increased physical activity.”
When Melissa Johnson interviews candidates for employment opportunities at the Holiday Inn – South County Center, she looks for people who are willing to go above and beyond for guests.
In working with Johnson the past year to place candidates, Places for People Employment Specialist Kas’Quri Wren believes that Johnson and the other managers at the Holiday Inn go above and beyond for the people she serves.
“I feel like she is compassionate toward the people we provide care for,” Wren said of Johnson. “She believes in our mission. She believes in providing a place of work opportunities for all abilities.”
“Barbara Taylor was my mentor for seven years, my colleague for the next 18 years, and one of my heroes always,” Leeper said. “She put her heart, mind, and soul into her work; almost always the last to leave the building.”
In conversation, Jerry can flash a broad, engaging smile. This sight is remarkable considering where Jerry was just 18 months ago.
For three years, Jerry lived on the streets. “It was rough. Can’t eat, can’t sleep. People tell you to get the heck away from them. It was just terrible,” he said. “That world is no joke out there.”
“If you are emotionally not healthy, I guarantee you eventually you are not going to be physically not healthy. If you are physically not healthy over a long period of time, I guarantee you, you will be emotionally not healthy. We’ve got to stop separating the two and see it as health in general. Just health.”
Meet Tiffany Lacy Clark, Vice President of Clinical Operations at Places for People. “To witness the spark return to someone’s eyes when they realize that someone believes in them and will support them is my life’s mission.”
Members of the Maryville University Student Occupational Therapy Association spent part of their spring break giving back, dropping off a donation of “blessing bags” for the Places for People Welcome Center. The bags include easy to carry necessities.