In 2016, the task force provided funding to Nantucket Rising to launch We Run Nantucket - a mindful running club, and We are what we eat, and we are so much more - a mindful eating program. These projects are part of a commitment to support healthy behaviors and substance-free events on the island. We Run Nantucket was inspired by the sacred power and resilience of running showcased in a film that aired at the Nantucket Project called Sacred Running by Sanjay Rawal and Christy Turlington Burns. We are what we eat is a healthy eating workshop centered around eating as a vehicle for mindfulness. The workshop has consisted of a three-part series focusing on awareness, acceptance, and action. The first twelve-week group of fourteen participants will conclude in June. In addition, a Nantucket Rising website has been established to create a digital foundation for these health and wellness projects.
The run club meets at 5:45 p.m. on Thursday evenings at Sanford Farm WEST off of Madaket Road. It is open to runners of all abilities and drop-ins are welcome!
After the Alliance for Substance Abuse Prevention (ASAP) successfully launched the first Family Awareness Workshop on Nantucket in April 2016, the NBHTF provided a grant to continue to offer the monthly workshop to the Nantucket community. This workshop encourages community members to seek treatment for substance use for themselves or for a loved one and to prevent behaviors that perpetuate substance use, stigma, and shame. Janina Kean's, a licensed psychiatric and mental health nurse practitioner has hosted each event. She has provided evidence-based research about addiction, treatment, family illness, and recovery in a two-day format. Over 100 people have attended the Family Awareness Program on Addiction and program satisfaction is high; of those who responded to the follow-up survey, 100% reported that the program had an impact on the mental health and substance abuse problems on Nantucket. The program was returned to ASAP in March 2017 and the organization is seeking grant funding to continue the program for one more year free to the Nantucket community.
In 2015, the BHTF funded the first six months of salary for a psychiatric nurse practitioner to offer behavioral health services at the Nantucket Cottage Hospital. Hannah Severns, NP, now works closely with the primary care team to ensure that mental health and substance use needs of patients are being met. Hannah’s daily schedule includes flexible time when she is available to meet with patients in the primary care offices as needed, as well as time when she is available for patient appointments. Her services include psychiatric evaluation, medication management, and referrals to other behavioral health specialists. After a successful first year, her position is now fully embedded into the primary care system.
In 2016, the NBHTF funded a new Peer Recovery Training Program at Fairwinds, Nantucket’s Counseling Center, to support youth recovering from drug and alcohol addiction. The grant provided an initial Peer Recovery Coach training for 20 people and a second training called Ethical Consideration for Recovery Coaching. The coaches are now active in the community, serving as mentors who can offer support, advocacy, and guidance to each young person as they navigate life. The overall goal of the program is to prevent individuals’ relapse into drugs and alcohol and to reduce stigma.
In 2016, the BHTF donated $8,000 to Addiction Solutions, an island program that provides medication-assisted treatment and counseling for patients suffering from addiction. The program is run by Dr. Tim Lepore, Medical Director and Chief of Surgery, at the Nantucket Cottage Hospital. This donation was part of a larger fundraising campaign by the Rotary Club of Nantucket that ultimately raised $150,000. The funds will be used towards the goals of helping people recover from addiction and reclaim their lives.