Social contact, peer relationships, and routine activity are paramount to personal recovery. New Vitae Wellness and Recovery staff and participants form a supportive community that identifies strengths, interests, and opportunities to encourage the development of peer to peer friendships. Our New Vitae community creates contacts in the surrounding area to encourage connections and supports beyond the walls of our organization. Each of our mental health residential treatment options and the mental health clinic host a variety of activities to match interests and provide the basis for meaningful connections.
Our residential sites lead the effort to encourage socialization through routine daily activities. From walks in the park to shopping trips, museums to amusement parks, and board games to baseball games, our residential treatment sites attempt to match interests that result in peer interactions and the development of social relationships. Interest inventories can be used to match participants based on preferences and to further explore new activities and ways to connect with others. Our residential supports offer many opportunities to try something new with emphasis on linking people together.
Our varied activities list is long, and includes:
- 12-Step and other Community Support Groups and Organizations: opportunities for sponsorships and friendships.
- YMCA: all individuals receiving services are entitled to a full paid membership
- Cultural events and local fairs/music events
- Volunteer opportunities
- Local sporting events
- Outdoor activities (hiking, camping, gardening)
- Resident Council (peer leadership)
- Church, Synagogue, and Mosque trip, in-house Chaplain services/other spiritual activities
- Family Days and Holiday Celebrations
- Annual trip to Cape May, New Jersey
Chances for meaningful connections have also been integrated into the behavioral health supports offered at the New Vitae Wellness and Recovery Center. Participants can find additional options to explore healthy relationships and learn ways to build trust in important relationships. The center has engaged individuals in activities beyond individual and group therapies, including:
- Quarterly complimentary trainings that focus on various behavioral health topics: Open to individuals, families, and allies, each of our trainings facilitates learning and connections.
- Routine visiting canine volunteers through Paws with Patience
- Creative Arts Groups
- Certified Peer Specialist Staff
Research has emphasized the importance of Young Adults developing and maintaining social connections. In addition to leisure time to interact and nurture relationships, a variety of activities are available to promote the development of social communication and interactive skill building. The list includes:
- Independent Living Skill Supports: Group activities are planned in order to promote positive and supportive socialization.
- Shared therapeutic mentoring outings
- Vocational group training: Learning about getting and keeping a job within a group helps to share successes.
Participation in these activities assists with relationship skill building and forms the basis of supportive, long-term interaction. Promoting supportive social connections helps us to be a community where individual preferences are respected, peer contact is encouraged, and personal wellness is our primary goal. These contacts provide the groundwork for further social contacts in our larger Lehigh Valley community.