SHE RECOVERS Provides Mental Health Lifeline During Pandemic
Who says cookie dough can't change the world? A portion of every purchase of our edible & bakeable cookie dough is donated to SHE RECOVERS Foundation, as announced in our recent press release.
Grab a pint (or order some here) and cozy up to read this impactful guest blog from this incredible nonprofit on the lifeline they've provided for women in or seeking recovery, as many endured the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
SHE RECOVERS Foundation
February 11, 2021
We are facing a tremendous global mental health crisis and the increased need for mental health support has skyrocketed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the beginning of the pandemic, 27% of women have reported an increase in challenges related to their mental health – compared to only 10% of men.(footnote 1)
Increasing levels of anxiety and depression are being reported, and the risk of suicide is rising proportionately. Domestic violence is increasing at alarming rates. Those recovering from substance use disorders are extremely vulnerable. Overdose deaths have risen with an estimated 19,416 deaths due to overdose in the US in the first quarter of 2020 compared with 16,682 in the same period in 2019.(footnote 2) Unfortunately, the increased demand for support services has been met with decreased availability of professional services. In many parts of North America (and all over the world), in person, recovery-focused peer to peer support meetings were shut down when COVID-19 hit.
With social distancing and public health orders in place, SHE RECOVERS in-person events were discontinued. The foundation broke the barrier for women seeking critical mental health support by pivoting to provide free, trauma-informed, and accessible solutions practically overnight. Because of SHE RECOVERS’ pre-existing online global influence, and collective of over 120 Professional Recovery Coaches with a SHE RECOVERS Designation, they were able to swiftly transpose “in real life” gatherings to an online format.
[ A guaranteed, consistent place and space that I can rely on – where I can practice and grow in my recovery. ]
Thanks to their organizational value of being responsive to the needs of their community, SHE RECOVERS didn’t hesitate or stop to think “how long” they would need to continue providing online support. They took it one day at a time, and in mid-March 2020 started hosting twice-daily gatherings online supporting upwards of 100 women in each gathering. This community continues to grow at a rapid rate with 100-150 new women joining every week.
One of the unique elements of the SHE RECOVERS Together virtual platform is that all online gatherings remain free; facilitated by professional recovery coaches and yoga teachers trained in hosting trauma-informed spaces, who volunteer their time. Women attending the meetings describe them as life-saving during this trying time.
The SHE RECOVERS Together Online Gatherings have been a guaranteed, consistent place and space that I can rely on – where I can practice and grow in my recovery. Because these gatherings are free and online, I am able to attend no matter what. Seeing familiar faces of other women who show up frequently has provided the social environment that promotes connection. These gatherings have been critical to my recovery over the past five months. - SHE RECOVERS Together Participant
As burnout rates for healthcare professionals such as nurses, physicians, and therapists began to rise as a result of COVID-19 (footnote 3), SHE RECOVERS also created a free support group and weekly gathering design specifically to meet the needs of recovering healthcare and allied professionals.
“I never imagined the stress and anxiety I would face as a nurse during a global pandemic. SHE RECOVERS connects me with other healthcare professionals to process and bolster my resilience.” - Nurse Practitioner
With a social network of over 325,000, SHE RECOVERS’ ability to continue breaking barriers and providing outlets of connection is integral to the ongoing wellness of recovering women. According to the ‘Life in Recovery from Addiction Report’ the top barriers individuals seeking recovery encounter are: being worried about how they would be viewed by others, not knowing where to go for help, and lack of support from members of their social networks. Over 95% of those surveyed also reported that informal supports - such as friends and family - were the most influential resources in maintaining their recovery.(footnote 4)
SHE RECOVERS affirms that “We don’t have to hit rock bottom to pursue recovery in any area of our lives. We believe in early intervention.” - SHE RECOVERS Intention & Guiding Principle. The CDC warns that more than 95,000 people die from excessive alcohol use in the US every year.(footnote 5) Research indicates that early intervention strategies can prevent overdose and death associated with substance use disorders. Because of SHE RECOVERS online educational resources: #MentalHealthMonday, SHE RECOVERS Podcast, and Blog, and embodied therapeutic practices: SHE RECOVERS Yoga and Dance, more women are hearing stories of hope and discovering pathways and patchworks of recovery that resonate with them before hitting rock bottom. The SHE RECOVERS Together online offerings provide holistic support, recognizing underlying issues such as Adult Childhood Experiences (ACE’s) and subsequent traumas that often contribute to the development of addiction and mental health issues.
As Trauma Expert Dr. Peter Levine states “Trauma is not what happens to us, but what we hold inside in the absence of an empathetic witness.” Because of SHE RECOVERS, women are maintaining an opportunity to be seen, heard, and held (empathically witnessed) in community - no matter where they are in the world - during a pandemic.
Curious? Check out & get involved at Sherecovers.org