eight dimensions of wellness

In addition to providing one-on-one coaching, State Peer Wellness Coaches also support clients as they work toward their health goals by offering peer workshops that cover a wide range of health-related areas. Our work is based on that of Dr. Peggy Swarbrick, an internationally recognized pioneer in peer-driven wellness and recovery approaches who is best known for her creation of the 8 Dimensions of Wellness: Physical, Emotional, Spiritual, Financial, Environmental, Occupational, Social, and Intellectual.

State Peer Wellness Coaches offer six programs in a wide variety of settings, including individual outpatient therapy and inpatient programs at behavioral health centers and agencies, mental health crisis units and centers; peer support centers; group homes, and other settings for people living with mental health and or co-occurring disorders. These workshops are evidence-based and backed by research demonstrating proven success among a wide range of demographic areas.

The highly esteemed Stanford University Medical Research Center (SMRC) developed three of the workshops peer wellness coaches lead – Chronic Disease Self-Management (CDSM), Diabetes Self-Management (DSM), and Chronic Pain Self-Management (CPSM). Each workshop meets two hours once a week for 6 weeks, and clients learn skills uniquely designed for each program, as well as skills that are common to all three. The common skills are:

Healthy Eating Decision-Making  Medication Usage
Physical Activity Problem-Solving Dealing with Depression
Better Sleep Better Breathing Working with Your Healthcare Organization
Using Your Mind Communication Skills Weight Management

Additionally, we offer the WHAM (Whole Health Action Management) program developed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association’s (SAMHSA) Center for Integrated Health Solutions. WHAM covers more of the 8 Dimensions of Wellness in 10 weekly sessions by addressing the areas of spirituality, cognitive-reframing, and the power of human connections. Following the workshop, peer groups then meet an additional 8 weeks to support each other as they work toward a specific goal they have developed during the workshop.

State Peer Wellness Coaches also teach the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, School of Medicine’s Tobacco-Free Program. Also a 6-week workshop, this program helps clients on their tobacco and nicotine cessation journey, including vaping and smokeless tobacco, by providing the latest research as well as a wide-range of information and support regarding quit methods.

Finally, we provide New-R, an 8-week workshop solely focused on nutrition and physical activity guidance to help people living with mental illnesses and/or co-occurring disorders lose weight. The University of Illinois at Chicago’s (UIC) Center on Integrated Health Care and Self-Directed Recovery, and the UIC Center on Psychiatric Disability and Co-Occurring Medical Conditions developed this evidence-based program.

The Tennessee Department of Mental Health works to find the best evidence-based programs State Peer Wellness Coaches can provide through our work as we assist our peers so they can recover and live fulfilling, healthy, happy lives to the best of their ability.