Sacred Heart Rehabilitation Center is a Michigan based company that provides behavioral health services and support for people with mental health, substance abuse addiction, and HIV/AIDS. They offer residential and outpatient treatment services in different settings and locations for different populations throughout Michigan.
According to The National Institutes of Health (NIH), most recent data for 2018:
- there were 67,367 drug overdose deaths in the U.S., with opioids involved in 46,802 (a rate of 14.6) overdose deaths—nearly 70% of all overdose deaths.
- there was a total of 2,011 deaths in Michigan, (where 78% of drug overdose deaths involved at least one opioid).
- Michigan providers wrote 62.7 opioid prescriptions for every 100 persons compared to the average U.S. rate of 51.4 prescriptions.
Addiction, reports the NIH, is a long-lasting and complex brain disease, requiring much more from individuals than motivation or good intentions. Michigan: Opioid-Involved Deaths and Related Harms
Sacred Heart Rehabilitation Center treats individuals in different stages of illness and recovery. By empowering individuals with life tools to respond to unhealthy impulses, relapses, and negative thoughts, Sacred Heart increases their clients’ chances for recovery. Part of that “treatment toolbox," includes the wellness strategies of Belightful Yoga.
Belightful Yoga’s partnership with Sacred Heart, began at the height of the opioid crisis, in 2017 and continues today. (Michigan Opioid Epidemic Numbers) Belightful developed a mental health and body wellness program for two distinct residential populations; a co-ed location, and a women’s specialty center (for mothers who need to bring children with them) and pregnant women. Belightful tailored yoga sessions to adapt to the patient’s unique needs, such as post detoxification and pre and postnatal.
Belightful Yoga deftly accommodated programming needs for Sacred Heart’s inpatient facility, Serenity Hills, on the west side of Michigan in Berrien County. This successful program rolled into subsequent programming months later. Likewise, Belightfuls successful work with the residential co-ed units, and the women’s specialty unit, gave way to additional classes at outpatient facilities. As Sacred Heart’s inpatients transitioned to recovery housing and then finally independent living, Belightful provided indispensable centering and mindfulness tools to build resiliency and confidence.
Belightful’s fully immersive approach included program modifications and enhancements based on patient surveys and assessments. Additionally, Belightful teachers cross-referenced class impressions and findings to learn from each other and identify best practices. Lisa Ballo attended quarterly Sacred Heart Leadership meetings to benefit patients and provide continuity of care.
Belightful’s programs for Sacred Heart were turnkey and complementary to existing treatment services and brought knowledgeable and empathic teachers to work with their clinical teams. Programming was modified with a Covid-19 preparedness plan including HIPPA compliment remote sessions. Belightful’s work with Sacred Heart is ongoing.
Part of Belightful's programming included regular surveys evaluating patient satisfaction and making program adjustments as needed.
Comments from initial surveys.
What skill(s) did you learn and find most supportive of this yoga/movement/mindfulness experience?
- My mind and body worked together.
- Learned a new coping skill.
- Relax and stretch not only your body but your state of mind.
- Learning to let go.
- My nerves and mind are no longer in the worst place.
- How to find peace.
- I was mindful of my body and felt we had a good relationship!
- Meditation is a powerful skill.
- Balance and relaxing so I felt calm.
- Clearing the mind.
- The stretches relieve a lot of the built-up tension from many of my stressors.
I loved the class and will do more when I get out.
Sacred Heart Rehabilitation Center
In the words of our Belightful Teachers:
I have been teaching at Sacred Heart for almost four years and loved every minute of it. One particular moment sums up the incredible power that yoga has had on these residents. After one of the men’s classes, a young man who was in recovery for heroin addiction, told me he could not believe how relaxed and good he felt. He said the following:
Yoga is my new heroin. I hope to serve the addiction community through yoga, for many years to come.Paul Barr
There is always a little uncertainty, but most students look forward to an experience of healing. But they are pleasantly surprised when they realize the added benefits of forgiveness and mending broken hearts, through the uniting of body, mind, and spirit. I am honored to guide them through these experiences.
At times there are tears of joy and disbelief at having been able to relax for the first time in weeks or months.
It’s a beautiful thing when I see how the students can communicate in a kinder, gentler manner. Some are crying tears of happiness at their short but very enlightening experiences on the mat.
Last but most significant, the students find they can forgive themselves as they learn to let go of rather than dwell on their past as they strive to live their best life and explore their true inner purpose.