Wellness Blog

"Wellness is not the absence of illness but the presence of purpose in life; satisfying work and play, joyful relationships, a healthy body and environment— and happiness"

Garden bears fruit and lessons at Gage House

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Clients of Stairways Behavioral Health’s Gage House are learning how sowing healthy seeds yields a bountiful and healthy harvest.

In June, Gage House residents got their hands dirty by planting and nurturing a vegetable garden. Now they are seeing the fruits of their labor in the budding foliage emerging at the 1813 Holland St. site that provides treatment and support to persons struggling with both substance abuse and mental illness. Gage House is a partnership of Stairways and LECOM Health Systems, formerly Millcreek Community Hospital.

Utilizing the Stairways Client Wellness Fund to purchase seeds, equipment and tools needed to start a garden from scratch, Gage House residents planted tomatoes, beans, squash, peppers and carrots to consume and enjoy.

The Client Wellness Fund is an effort by Stairways to promote personal wellness among clients by providing them with sneakers, fitness memberships, nutrition services and other healthy living items.

The garden provides an opportunity for the residents to participate in nutrition learning, relaxation, leisure and sober recreation, Gage House Program Supervisor Sarah Parton said.

“The garden is something that we thought would be a peaceful activity that we could take pride in creating,” Parton said. “It is something I had heard about and wanted to do and I think has been a great experience for everyone here.”

In addition, the patch will also teach skills in time management, leadership and responsibility. But the garden’s crops that will be used in salads and snacks figure to be its most tangible and satisfying return, Parton said.

“It’s so exciting to watch the garden grow and produce delicious food that we can enjoy.”



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