Culinary Program at Angelus House

Residents at Angelus House enjoy cooking with vegetables grown in our gardens.

The Culinary Program at Angelus House nurtures important life skills while encouraging transformation, self discovery and healing in our young adult residential program.

Angelus House kicked off the new year enjoying much needed kitchen upgrades for their robust Culinary Program. Thanks to the generous support of donors, the Angelus kitchen now has new cabinets, counter tops, microwave, pantry and two matching refrigerators. An inviting, functional space is important as the Culinary Program is an integral aspect of treatment at Angelus House, for the way in which it can provide the platform to nurture and heal.

“The Culinary Program is unique as it can often represent the Mother, either nurturing, critical, authority figure or all of the above,” said Joyce Rubinstein, Milieu Counselor and culinary coordinator at Angelus. “Often the feelings that emerge for residents while participating in the program are directly related to their familial relationships, especially with Mom. This gives us the perfect opportunity to incorporate this element into their treatment plans to help them learn how it fits right in to many aspects of the whole in treatment.”

“Many of our residents are diagnosed with eating disorders and have adversarial relationships with food, the kitchen and nurturance,” Joyce said. “They benefit from the opportunity in the Culinary Program to gain confidence and strength, learning a new relationship with food.”

The Culinary Program teaches life skills such as:

  • Problem solving
  • Relationship building
  • How to nurture self and others
  • Flexibility
  • Accountability
  • Healthy relationship to cooking and eating
  • Caring for the environment
  • Organization

With over 100 cookbooks, endless recipe websites at their fingertips and guidance from Joyce and a nutritionist, the residents are the drivers of the program, planning and creating healthy, delicious meals from soup to nuts. Residents rotate cooking two meals a day, with lunch as the main feature, for everyone in the house throughout the week.

Angelus holds an open kitchen philosophy with food available at all times. This philosophy utilizes common sense guidelines, as residents are adults learning to think independently, make their own decisions and transition back to living independently in healthy ways.

Wellspring Honors Employees

 

Wellspring recently honored employees for milestones in their years of dedication, some marking as many as 25 years of employment with the organization. Pictured are (back left) Ann Watson, Sarah Vogt, Nicole Giannelli, Toni Earley, Dawn Adams and Mayda Capozzi, (front, left) Ron Crowcroft and Genevieve Weaving.

Wellspring, a multi-service mental health nonprofit, recently honored 15 employees for reaching significant milestones in their years of service, some marking as many as 25 years of employment with the organization.

Staff members gathered to celebrate the anniversaries and to recognize their years of dedication and commitment to Wellspring.

Employee loyalty is common at Wellspring as the majority of employees have been with the organization for several significant milestones, many spanning decades.

“Wellspring is fortunate to have a well-trained and professional staff that possess both the mind and heart for the work that is done here,” said HR Director Dee Hughes.

Since beginning in 1977 with fewer than 15 employees, Wellspring has grown to a staff of approximately 155, of which 70 percent have been with Wellspring for five years or more.

Ann Watson and Genevieve Weaving celebrated 25 years of service and Mayda Capozzi has reached 15 years of service.

Ronald Crowcroft, Toni Earley and Sarah Vogt celebrated 10 years of service.

Dawn Adams, Kellie Ahearn, Nicole Giannelli, Siobhan Kalnins, Cheryl Keyworth, Toni Mosakowski, Judy Mueller, Marjorie Pfeffer and Jessica Russo have given five years of service each.

At the end of 2014 Wellspring will honor nine additional employees for 10 years or more, including two more at 25 years.

This level of commitment runs across all departments and positions.

The longest standing service shows in the nursing department where seven of the current 11 staff members have reached significant milestones under the direction of Janet Samela-Sorrel, who is in her 28th year of service.

Wellspring is a non-profit multi-service mental health agency and educational center, licensed by the State of Connecticut and accredited by JCAHO.

The Arch Bridge School is accredited NEASC.

Wellspring’s website is www.wellspring.org.

Torrington Public Schools receive $15,000 Draper Foundation Fund grant

The Torrington Public Schools in partnership with Wellspring and The Arch Bridge School received a $15,000 from the Draper Foundation Fund administered through the Community Foundation of Northwest Connecticut to help provide much needed behavioral health supports for students in preschool and kindergarten classes in the Torrington School District.

Last year, approximately 120 children were referred to Special Education Services and only 60 were eligible. Many children who did not qualify, may have benefited from behavioral health supports outlined in this outreach.

The planning team will collaboratively select the teachers/classrooms that will participate in the initial Special Education Enhancement and Development Services (SEEDS) program projected to rollout in April, 2014. The Wellspring SEEDS program staff have effectively partnered with seven Connecticut school districts. The goal is to provide training and support to school staff and administration to allow them to meet the needs of students with serious emotional disturbances, while supporting their families in the educational process. Goals of the grant include: Preschools and Kindergarten classroom staff will be provided with recommendations for behavioral health services and customized strategic planning functions; Develop comprehensive curricula for management of behavior and special education classroom support; and Preschool and Special Education teachers will be trained in enhanced classroom techniques, utilizing a high-structured, high-nurturing approach.

The Torrington Public Schools (TPS) serve 4,500 students in pre-k-12 regardless of their educational needs, race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. As a public school system, TPS must provide for all children living in the city of Torrington a quality education program based upon mandates of the state of Connecticut, at no cost to the students or their families. TPS includes a comprehensive high school with a blended learning environment including opportunity to earn credits on line, early college credit, and participate in activities and clubs that allow students to solve “real problems” and work with practicing professionals. Interscholastic sports, drama and music programs are also offered. The middle school focuses on developing the student as independent learner, as well as their leadership skills as they progress through the pre-adolescent stage of growth and development. The five elementary schools collaborate to provide continuity in educational program and services for all children from grades prek-5.

Nowhere to Go: Mentally ill youth in crisis

On Sunday evening 60 Minutes featured a segment that was of special interest to the friends and “family” of Wellspring. Virginia Senator Creigh Deeds shared his very personal experiences battling the healthcare system when attempting to get treatment for his son and the stigma of raising a mentally ill child

While there is much work to be done to end the stigma of raising a mentally ill child, and provide better access to mental health services – we applaud the efforts that Senator Creigh Deeds and others throughout the nation are organizing to help others in the struggle.

Representative Miner Visits Wellspring

Rep. Miner touts Wellspring & Arch Bridge School during visit

 

BETHLEHEM – State Rep. Craig Miner (R-66) on Friday toured the Wellspring & Arch Bridge School, a private and New England Association of Schools and Colleges accredited school servicing individuals with psychological, emotional and educational issues, calling it a pristine treatment center that assists people from all walks of life – and a cornerstone to the Bethlehem community.

 

Rep. Miner joined Wellspring administrators to expound on its services, touting what the educational center means to both his 66th district of Bethlehem, Litchfield, Morris, Warren and Woodbury, and throughout northwest Connecticut.

 

“What Wellspring is doing right in our own backyard is critical to the overall well-being of the psychological, emotional and educational communities,” Rep. Miner said. “There’s a reason why this private organization has been so successful. They build relationships with their clients and students – and their parents and guardians — and truly promote healing. As Wellspring looks to the future of its programs, I can only hope the surrounding community understands how important it is to fully restoring individual’s health.”

 

Wellspring’s 190 employees have helped 88 clients, students and families from Rep. Miner’s assembly district and boasts a whopping 80 percent of grade-school students that go on to succeed in higher education institutions. Its outpatient facilities in Middlebury and Bethlehem currently service approximately 300 active cases. Wellspring also offers consulting services to nine local school districts through a new program, Special Education Enhancement and Development Series (SEEDS) grants, allowing Wellspring staff to work with local school teachers and administrators in strengthening their communication skills and classroom management approaches.

 

Clients are referred from schools, parents, insurance companies and educational consultants to Wellspring for its services and its relationship building.

 

It is currently looking to upgrade its elementary school from a decade-old trailer-like facility into a new, $1 million building – along with building a gymnasium so they no longer have to transport students long distances. But the project isn’t coming easily, although Wellspring deserves it, Rep. Miner said.

 

“Wellspring is growing, expanding. And I wish them the best in their future endeavors as they look to add to their already sterling campus and reputation,” Rep. Miner said.

 

For more information on Wellspring & Arch Bridge School, along with its services and donation needs, please visit www.wellspring.org.

 

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