Health Matters is a mind and body wellness program developed by AHM’s Leadership, Mental Health, and Prevention Team and funded by the Cigna Corporation. Residents of all ages from Andover, Hebron, Marlborough, and Columbia are invited to participate.
AHM and the Cigna Corporation believe participation in healthy programming is the best way to reduce risk factors for mental illness and substance abuse in youth, families, and our communities. We are very fortunate to have received grant funding to provide this level of programming.
AHM is planning on offering in-person programming beginning in May and June in our beautiful new Wellness Room. A calendar of activities will be offered with an a la carte registration so residents can choose activities to fit their interests and schedule. Out of an abundance of caution a strict COVID Protocol will be followed to ensure the safety of our residents and staff. Like us on Facebook and Instagram or check back for calendar updates!
In the interim, to stay active and reduce stress, you are invited to utilize the following FREE resources and activities: Zumba® and Self Care Video Library below!
Join us for a FREE Sunday Zumba® class!
AHM is offering a free Family Zumba® class to community members aged 14 & up, every Sunday from 9:30-10:15am! Attendees will have the opportunity to invest in their well-being through these active, fun classes designed to engage families in fitness. Zumba® takes the “work” out of workout, by mixing low-intensity and high-intensity moves for an interval-style, calorie-burning dance fitness party. Once the Latin and World rhythms take over, you’ll see why Zumba® Fitness classes are often called exercises in disguise. Super effective? ✔️ Super fun? ✔️ and ✔️. Led by Tressa Giordano, AHM Executive Director.
Zoom Meeting ID: 874 6193 4504, Passcode: 577053
AHM offers Free Self-care Video Library
This FREE on-line video library is open to residents of all ages in the towns of Andover, Hebron, Marlborough and Columbia. As a special exception due to the increased mental health needs due to the COVID-19 pandemic, AHM is inviting neighboring CT communities to also view this video library which is funded by a grant from the CIGNA Foundation.
This video library below can also be watched on our AHM Youtube playlist “Health Matters Self-Care Video Library”
Self Care, Nutrition & Art
Eat Healthy-Eat Local
Health Matters Phase Descriptions
Health Matters successfully launched during the fall of 2020! Phase 1 which focused on “the Self” ran for a total of eight weeks with three to four activities a week. Participants had access to the following live Zoom wellness activities: Introduction to Yoga, Yoga Flow for All, Chair Yoga, Storytime Yoga, Tai Chi, Zentangle Drawing, and Zumba® Fitness.
In addition, Health Matters hosted two workshops: a Meditation & Mindfulness Workshop, which introduced strategies to add this practice into daily routines, and a ‘Love Your Face Therapy’ Workshop, that guided participants on proper techniques for a self-massage on the face and neck, and the benefits which include de-stressing of the mind and improvement of physical well-being.
The goal of our Health Matters Program is for participants to be inspired by the activities and workshops offered so they will want to incorporate this type of activity into their lifestyle on a consistent basis. AHM will refer community members to the instructors who partnered with AHM for Phase One: the Self but also recommends connecting with your town’s Parks and Recreation Department for a current list of activities offered.
Due to global health crisis Health Matters Phase Two: the Family programming will deviate from the originally planned schedule of activities to provide a self-care video library that provides outlets to calm the mind and body. AHM is providing this video library at no charge for residents of all ages in the towns of Andover, Hebron, Marlborough and Columbia and as a special exception due to the pandemic, all surrounding towns are welcome to view the video library as well!
The AHM Health Matters Program is proud to partner with the Hebron Open for Business Task Force on the “Eat Healthy🧡Eat Local” initiative. This initiative shows how easy it is to eat healthy while supporting local restaurants. Each week a restaurant is spotlighted with a video post on Facebook and Instagram by a resident who is choosing to eat a healthy lunch or dinner entrée. If you are interested in how to fill your plate with healthy food choices please refer to the nutrition videos created by Mission Wellness of Colchester CT. And, when you visit local restaurants and you are eating healthy – we want to know! Take a picture of what you are eating, where you are and tag us at @Andover Hebron Marlborough Youth and Family Services with the hashtag #ahmhealthmatters!
#InspirationalMonday begins each week with one way you can be kind to your ‘self’, your body and those around you! Like AHM Youth & Family Services on FaceBook to be inspired each Monday!
All of the above is created to help our community during this trying time when there is more anxiety, depression and loneliness. Life is not the normal that we remember but we are moving forward to better days! Continue to looks after friends and family and if there is something that you need remember that AHM is here for you!
Health Matters Phase three will begin in spring 2021 and will focus on engaging activities within the community. The Health Matters 8-week calendar offers unique ways to see the value in the community we live in and express ourselves in the most positive of ways with those around us.
Mini-Workshops that took place during December 2020!
- Reduced cravings for alcohol and drugs, including nicotine
- Minimized withdrawal symptoms
- Increased calmness, better sleep, and less agitation
- Relief from stress
- Discovery of inner quiet and strength
Mr. Pandolfo who is also a certified Tai Chi Instructor (Level 1) received his certification from the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA), a not-for-profit training and advocacy organization, that encourages community wellness through the use of a standardized auricular acupuncture/acupressure protocol for behavioral health, including addictions, mental health, and disaster & emotional trauma. Acupressure NADA works to improve access and effectiveness of care through promoting policies and practices which integrate NADA-style treatment with other Western behavioral health modalities. Registrants of this workshop will be mailed ear seeds needed to mirror Mr. Pandolfo during this workshop. To learn more, visit https://acudetox.com/
This mini workshop takes place at 7:00pm via Zoom link. Zoom meeting information will be emailed upon registration.
- Crimson pear & pepper goat cheese crostini
- Moroccan spiced lamb turnovers with mint yogurt dip
- Chili lime seared Shrimp skewers with avocado aioli
- Baked sweet pepper ‘poppers’
This mini workshop takes place at 7:00pm via Zoom link. Zoom meeting information will be emailed upon registration.
Health Matters Program Descriptions – Phase 1 – The Self
This session took place during the months of August through October 2020. These sessions may get repeated at a later date so check back often for updates. Please contact Jennifer Boehler, Health Matters Coordinator, at 860-228-9488, x31 or JenniferB@ahmyouth.org with questions or inquiries.
Back to School in a COVID-19 Environment: Self Care Tips for Parents Workshop
A workshop that focuses on prioritizing self-care for parents/caregivers during the transition back to school in our current stressful COVID-19 environment. Led by AHM Clinical Director, Megan Aldridge.
Chair yoga can be practiced sitting in a chair or standing while holding the chair for support. It is well suited for adults who cannot participate in standing yoga or exercise due to issues with balance or pain. Led by Anna Glowacki, RYT 500 certified and also a Dharma school Level 2 graduate practicing shaman and Reiki Master.
Community members will have the opportunity to invest in their well-being through these active, fun classes designed to engage families in fitness. Zumba® shares: “Everybody and everybody! Each Zumba® class is designed to bring people together to sweat it on. We take the “work” out of workout, by mixing low-intensity and high-intensity moves for an interval-style, calorie-burning dance fitness party. Once the Latin and World rhythms take over, you’ll see why Zumba® Fitness classes are often called exercises in disguise. Super effective? Check. Super fun? Check and check.” Led by Tressa Giordano, AHM Executive Director.
Introduction to Tai Chi
The ancient art of Tai Chi, also known as meditative movement, will be introduced to community members who are interested in learning more about the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual benefits that work with the energy system of the body as understood in traditional Chinese medicine. Led by Joe Pandolfo, Certified Tai Chi Instructor, American Tai Chi & Qiqong Association and 2012 Centers for Disease Control-endorsed ‘Moving for Better Balance’.
Participants will be guided through a self-massage of their upper shoulders, head, neck, and face. This is perfect to release tension from far too much time spent at the computer while working from home. Overall, this session will be therapeutic and relaxing. Join us for some great stress-reducing techniques and your face will love you for it! Items needed: face oil or moisturizer. Led by Alexandra Smith, LMT
Evidence has linked the practice of meditation and mindfulness with multiple health benefits. In this workshop, participants will be trained to focus the mind and body and redirect their thoughts. Introducing these skills into their wellness routine, individuals will experience reduced stress, more manageable anxiety, enhanced self-awareness, and improved emotional well-being. Led by Suzanne Meunier, Ph.D.
Evidence has linked the practice of meditation and mindfulness with multiple health benefits. In this workshop, participants will be trained to focus the mind and body and redirect their thoughts. Introducing these skills into their wellness routine, individuals will experience reduced stress, more manageable anxiety, enhanced self-awareness, and improved emotional well-being. This workshop welcomes participants of all ages to come together for a calming morning of mindful meditation. Participants will leave the session with a better understanding of mindfulness and its benefits, strategies with step-by-step instructions, and some recommended resources to continue growing through their mindfulness journey. We ask that you find a quiet, comfortable space to participate in the workshop in order to create the most helpful experience for yourselves and others in the group. Led by Lauren Scharn, LCSW
Integrates yoga and oral children’s book storytelling, relaxation, mediation, peace, and character education to produce healthy, peaceful, and literate children. Join bilingual teacher, Erin Westerman (YTT200hr Yoga Instructor) for a half-hour of storytelling and movement for children, siblings, parents, and grandparents! A beautiful way to close the day.
Yoga Flow for All
Breath and upbeat music will motivate you through a practice that will encourage you to work strength and balance. Adjust the difficulty of your practice with amplifications and modifications and feel rewarded during the deep stretching and meditation that make up the last part of class. Led by Anna Glowacki, RYT 500 certified and also a Dharma school Level 2 graduate practicing shaman and Reiki Master.
Yoga: Introduction to Yoga
Yoga: Introduction to Yoga uses poses, breathing techniques, and meditation to benefit and improve overall health. Come learn what to expect in a yoga class! Part of the class time will field questions from participants! Led by Anna Glowacki, RYT 500 certified and also a Dharma school Level 2 graduate practicing shaman and Reiki Master.
The Zentangle Method of drawing is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns. These patterns are called “tangles.” Tangles are created with combinations of dots, lines, simple curves, S-curves and orbs. These simple shapes are the “Elemental Strokes” in all Zentangle art. The benefits of practicing Zentangle include calming an anxious mind, increasing self-confidence, and cultivating moment-to-moment awareness in a similar way as mindfulness meditation. Led by Tressa Giordano, AHM Executive Director.
Scroll down for our video collection from Phase 1: the Self
Health Matters Program brought to our community by a Cigna Foundation Grant and AHM Youth & Family Services.
If you have any questions about these programs, please contact Jennifer Boehler, Health Matters Program Coordinator, at 860-228-9488 x31 or email JenniferB@ahmyouth.org.