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Healthcare and the Social Good

The Healthcare debate once again momentarily captured much of our national attention. Clearly, there are changes that are needed to the way we approach the question of healthcare for the sake of our citizens and our democracy.

Almost 20% of our national economy revolves around healthcare. In fact, we spend more per capita than most of the industrialized world, with outcomes that are limited by the lack of affordable access to basic services for far too many of our citizens.

As we have discovered, any proposed solutions (whether single-payor, insurance reform, or mandated enrollment), are blocked by politicians with their own fund-raising agendas. Many of us have called our senators and representatives; some have donated, volunteered, or marched for change; many others have shared their frustrations with friends through social media.

Here at Rock Springs, we also want to encourage the idea of incorporating practical steps that accompany these political steps: we want to advocate for practicing positive habits in our lives that help us stay grounded and healthy, working in our communities to make this challenge easier for everyone.

In the caring atmosphere of Rock Springs, we have found that we often achieve results when we band together in smaller groups. In small clusters, for instance, we can offer rewards and incentives through community-based activities such as fitness programs, meditation/retreat centers, nutrition programs, recreational outings, and creative workshops. We can offer incentives for communities that achieve levels of participation in these programs and rewards for achieving health results.

By encouraging young people to get involved, we can help them establish healthy habits and meaningful relationships with older individuals who will, in turn, benefit from their energy and interaction. Furthermore, we can all work together, using our individual skills, talents, and resources to reduce the suffering of others.

With these goals in mind, we offer three approaches to making our services available:

1 We have a Compassion Fund to help support families and individuals who cannot afford the standard market-based fee for coaching, caring, and counseling.

2 We also offer payment plans to make it easier to budget for counseling.

3 We reserve 10% of our time for pro bono (free of charge) services. While these appointments are only available on referral and are depending on extenuating circumstances, we try to do our part to help the community.

We also offer programs that create healthier individuals and families. We regularly offer classes and workshops in our Center for Public and Professional Learning (CCPL). For instance, Elizabeth Wilder Young conducts mindfulness workshops to help clients learn to stay present and centered, and Tania Rochelle leads poetry and writing workshops to help clients process trauma. In addition to what our own Rock Springs counselors offer, we routinely invite mental health experts to speak and teach on subjects ranging from pet therapy, to using the Enneagram, to discussions of race and social justice.

Now, we’d love to hear about the ways you are engaging with the community to promote health and well-being, and any ideas you might have for us. And if we can be of help to you or someone you know, please let us know!

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