What I’ve Learned About Mental Illness

When I was in third grade, a classmate’s father died of suicide. It was the first time I had ever heard that word. While explaining what it meant to me, my mother, who did not at the time fully understand mental illness, told me that it was a selfish thing for him to do. I couldn’t fathom why a father would choose to leave his family like that—I didn’t fully understand mental illness either.   

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Worksite Wellness Program During a Pandemic

The global pandemic is bringing to light the importance of worksite health promotion for the health and wellbeing of your employees.  The virus does not discriminate based on health status.  Although living a healthy lifestyle will not prevent someone from contracting the virus, it may prevent, treat or reverse various chronic conditions that increase the risk for severe illness or death from the virus.  It is estimated that up to 80% of chronic conditions can be prevented, treated, and/or reversed by lifestyle management (CDC).   

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Supporting Schools Through COVID Challenges

“I need help thinking of things that kids can do at recess.  They can’t use the playground.  They can’t share toys.  They can’t touch each other or be within six feet of each other.  How can I help them remain physically active and enjoy their recess time?”  

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Mental Health Access to Care

This Thursday, The Wellbeing Partners and national partner Public Good Project, along with the Douglas, Sarpy/Cass and Pottawattamie County Health Departments, and more than 150 local collaborators, will launch a regional campaign to normalize mental health and get people talking about their mental health stories, journeys, and experiences. We believe that each of us has a lot in common. As we share stories of grief, loss, resilience, triumph, acceptance, disappointment, longing to be connected - and really any feeling in between, we connect more closely with each other.  

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YMCA Fresh Produce Project

As the grey van approached the food pickup line I could see the sliding door open. Expecting the usual interior views of another normal drop-off, what I wasn’t ready for was the expression of pure joy on the nine-year-old boy’s face in the back seat as I loaded the fresh produce into their van. I’m pretty sure I saw his back molars as the smile stretched across his face.  

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Youth Wellness Support Teachers

The Wellbeing Partners Youth Wellness Coordinator, Claire Brown, spoke with Cecelia Jenkins of local news station WOWT about work surrounding Youth Wellness as schools prepare to welcome students back in the fall. Here is the full interview - learn about the many projects The Wellbeing Partners has coming up to support teachers and others who serve youth in our community as we "Return to Learn" this fall.

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Omaha Housing Advocates Come Together for Healthy Home Inspection Pilot

The Health + Housing pilot was created by a multisectoral collaboration to ensure healthier homes for more Douglas County residents in Omaha Housing Authority (OHA) single housing units. The pilot’s inspection process improvement program focused on training OHA’s home inspectors and Family Support Services staff in the use of a healthy home assessment tool developed by Omaha Healthy Kids Alliance (OHKA).

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Mental Health and Anti-Racism Resources

Our organization is committed to fighting racist societal structures within the social determinants of health that limit the ability for Black communities and immigrant, LGBTQ+, and other marginalized populations to thrive in all areas of wellbeing, so that all people and places can thrive. More recently, this work includes working with the Regional Health Council to address mental health in the community and a specific mental health anti-stigma campaign, which we expect to fully launch in August.

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Letter from the CEO

We mourn the deaths of George Floyd, James Scurlock, and countless others and stand alongside our community in a cry for change. Senseless deaths are happening every day due to racism, in addition to the disproportionate impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic for minority families, and there is so much work to be done. The Wellbeing Partners is committed to be a part of the solution.

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Supporting a Child’s Understanding of Diversity

I am a white woman, married to a white man, raising a white daughter.  Over a year ago, when my daughter was 11 months old, we were shopping at the dollar store.  As we got into line, the black woman in front of us turned and smiled at us. We said hello. She commented on how precious my daughter was, and I thanked her. My daughter then started reaching and squawking for a mylar balloon that was in the checkout lane. Without skipping a beat, the woman ahead of us turned back around and said, “I want to buy one for her—which one does she want?” I tried to tell her no, that it was only a dollar, and that I could get it. She insisted, looked me straight in the eyes, and said, “I want to buy one for her. I want her to know that women who look like me are friendly.”

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