Promise Resource Network is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to transform the approach to recovery from mental illness, substance use, and trauma, by focusing on wellness, not illness. Your donation will help us live our mission every day through individualized recovery support, education programs and advocacy, allowing us to change lives and change the way society approaches recovery.
The truth is, many of us labeled with mental illness or substance use disorders are survivors. We often experience layers of trauma ranging from childhood abuse and neglect, to domestic violence, homelessness, incarceration, poverty related trauma, and oppressive systems. As a result, we may have been taught and even perhaps feel broken, sick or hopeless.
Nothing can be farther from the truth! Let’s say that again…it’s simply not true.
Healing occurs in many different forms and through various pathways. We know from our own experiences that being exposed to different ways that healing occurs and support to explore and access them to find what works for us, is critical. For this reason, everything we offer at PRN through our resources or connection to our community partners, explores options in 8 Dimensions of Wellness.
What are 8 Dimensions of Wellness? Research has shown that there are 8 areas of our lives that, if supported, results in increased well-being. You will also hear the terms whole health or social determinants of health. At PRN, we use the wellness wheel for self-reflection and discovery.
While this may sound trite, there is a distinct difference in our approach, language, culture and opportunities when we focus on wellness rather than illness. Most mental health and substance use treatment programs were designed around an illness paradigm. Diagnostic labels, clinical criteria, a focus on symptoms and an over-reliance on medications and confinement pervade illness-based systems.
PRN’s team has been personally impacted by this approach. Our identity, confidence, worldview and expectations of ourselves and others shift when we are surrounded by illness beliefs, messages and approaches. We know how this affected us and see how it affects our community and we will not perpetuate it. Instead, we support you to reclaim your identity beyond the labels of “mentally ill,” “addict,” “homeless,” “felon,” or any other ones that have been placed on you. You are not that and neither are we. PRN will help you explore who you really are and are meant to be.
You are a survivor. Whether your path has been long and winding, or short, you have wisdom. You have your best solutions. We promise. Our bodies and our minds are wired to survive and have the ability to heal themselves. However, through life circumstances, we can become disconnected from our inner voice, stop listening to our bodies, and believe the things we may have been taught about ourselves through others. True healing is possible when we start to get to know ourselves, not through the lens of family members, community or treatment systems, rather through figuring out who we are, where we want to head, what gifts and resources we possess to get there and what types of information, opportunities and supports we need to continue growing and healing.
The next step can be the scariest of all…speak up, even if your voice shakes. Voicelessness has rendered many of us with trauma histories to feel helpless and hopeless. We are here with you and will support you to reclaim your voice.
Isolation and loneliness devastates our spirit, our souls and our hope for the future. There is no better example than now, during this pandemic, to illustrate how disconnection can lead to feelings of sadness, increased anxiety, thoughts of suicide, use of substances, overeating and even increased domestic violence to cope with pain and loss.
At PRN, every person belongs. Everything we do is voluntary, inclusive and self-driven. Nothing is forced or coerced. PRN is a tribe of people that have been through extreme distress and have worked on their healing and are willing to share their experience and lessons learned with each other and with you. PRN offers community whether it be by phone, using technology, on-line or in person classes, or face to face support, its a reminder that we are not alone and we all fit in.
In NC, the unemployment rate of our community of people with mental health diagnoses receiving public mental health services is a whopping 85.6%! While disability benefits can be an important resource, there has been a widespread belief and misconception that those of us labeled with mental illness cannot, should not or do not want to work. This has perpetuated poverty, increased isolation and an over reliance on subsidies for decades.
At PRN, our experience tells us that among the most direct pathways to recovery and well-being is through employment. Let’s add education to that. Whether you want to consider work or not, we will support you to think through your options with accurate information, discuss employment’s impact on disability benefits, explore how you can work and not disrupt your disability benefits and what you want, like and do not want to do for work. This is not a simple decision. We. Get. It. And, we’re here.