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 residential behavioral health treatment options and the mental health recovery centers 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 facilities 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.
We arrange for a variety of activities including:
- Community Support Groups and Organizations: (e.g. 12-Step Program, etc.)
- 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 (e.g. hiking, camping, gardening)
- Resident Council (e.g. peer leadership)
- Church, Synagogue, and Mosque trips, 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 with others. The center has engaged individuals in activities beyond individual and group therapies, including:
- Quarterly complimentary training, which focuses on various behavioral health topics. It is open to individuals, families, and allies.
- 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 such as:
- 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 remains our primary goal. These contacts provide the groundwork for further social contacts within the greater Lehigh Valley community.
"As a staff member, I have learned a lot about mental health and I have witnessed many residents transform from a place of fear and paranoia to becoming outgoing, secure, content and able to hold a job in the community and much more.”- Cathy K. (staff)