ACT 2021 Featured Capstone:
Every Day Wellness Pilot Program
LCSW, Community Corrections and Wellness Consultant – Southern California, USA
Who did your project serve and what suffering did it address?
My project served the staff at U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services, Central District of California. My project addressed the suffering that staff experience from their work, as they are in frequent contact with the suffering of those who are harmed by crime, defendants going through the court process, individuals’ families and co-workers.
How did this project address that suffering?
Mindfulness, compassion, self-compassion, and positive neuroplasticity provided staff with tools for improved mental clarity, emotional balance, resilience, and a growth mindset. Skills were taught to address empathic distress, secondary trauma, and burnout. Workshops provided tools that can be used at specific times and throughout the day, and resources for continued learning were provided.
Who was your audience and how many people participated?
The audience consisted of seven staff members from U.S. Probation, Central District of California. Participants included administrators and staff from the newly created Wellness Committee.
How was the project delivered (the format)?
The project consisted of three workshops delivered live online every other week. Topics included mindfulness, compassion for self and others, resilience, and increasing happiness. Additionally, optional drop-in meditation sessions were provided during the intervening weeks.
What was the reported impact on or feedback from participants? On yourself?
Overall, participants stated they have a better understanding of mindfulness and compassion and that they would bring this understanding into their lives. Participants appreciated the flow of the presentation from slides to meditations to break-out sessions. I learned how much I enjoy facilitating this type of program and how comfortable I now am with the material.
How has the ACT Program helped you become an Ambassador of Compassion?
By participating in the ACT Program, I have created a product, that I can bring to organizations to help improve resiliency and alleviate staff suffering. Also, I am able to be more fully compassionate with myself and others with equanimity.
What advice would you give to someone who's considering participating in the ACT Program?
Through this program, I became more confident, mindful, compassionate, and self-compassionate. I am able to model for others and more able to present my authentic self. Being in a community of like-minded peers from all over the world from a multitude of settings creating positive change is awesome, inspiring, and hopeful.