“Trauma, Recovery, & COVID-19”

“Many trauma survivors have lived with the constant expectation of disaster. During these challenging times may we find breath, support, and a seed of hope” – Dr. Thema

Magdalene Serenity House has taken significant steps to be able to continue to serve our residents while also responding to the threat of COVID-19. We are committed to supporting our residents and helping our community contain this pandemic. According to NPR, doctors are warning treatment providers that the Coronavirus could increase deaths for drug and alcohol users and are urging recovery programs to adjust to meet the unique needs of this vulnerable population. Research has shown that people with pre-existing mental health conditions will need extra support during a pandemic. Isolation, confinement, and disruption of daily routine puts persons in recovery at high risk for relapse, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. At the start of social distancing many of our residents reported feeling a lack of choice/control and anger at the restrictions we put in place to keep them safe. Several lost the jobs they had worked so hard to obtain. For many of our residents, this pandemic triggered fear of their freedom being taken away, with some stating “I feel like I am being incarcerated all over again”. Although this is hard to hear, these difficult emotions make sense as many of our residents have experienced significant trauma and have lived in uncertainty, chaos, and confinement throughout their lives. It is no wonder this pandemic is triggering old emotions and causing frustration, distress, and anger among our residents. Thus, it was important for us to come together as a community and develop a pandemic plan to make sure our residents continue to receive the support they need to maintain their healing and recovery work.

It is essential for our residents to have a daily routine, meaningful activities, and ongoing support as they navigate this difficult time. With resident input we created a weekly schedule to include daily groups, on-site Smart Recovery meetings (staff are trained facilitators), daily exercise/movement activities, and a resident-led AA group. Our Executive Director is continuing individual, weekly support sessions with each of our residents to check in and provide emotional support as needed (from a 6 ft distance). All of our residents have received a list of online recovery resources they can tap into via phone or computer. We are urging our residents to focus on what they can control and to always reach out for help if they are struggling. Although it has been a hard two weeks, our residents are adjusting well and providing a tremendous amount of support to one another as they navigate this unknown territory.

Want to support residents during this time? We have put several items on our Amazon Wish List to keep our residents engaged in creative activities. They would also love to hear from you! You can send messages of support to april@lovehealsnwa.org and/or send letters directly to P.O. Box 3394 Fayetteville, AR 72702. It truly does take a community to heal and we are thankful you are a part of ours. Stay healthy and we hope to see all of our supporters soon!

Resident Achievements

  • Despite the challenges with COVID-19, our residents are hanging in there and adjusting to new safety procedures at MSH.
  • Two of our residents picked up their 5 month chip at AA!
  • Our first graduate and Resident Support Specialist, Sophia, picked up her 3 year chip. A huge accomplishment!
  • One of our residents celebrated her daughter’s Sweet 16 birthday.
  • Our residents have been busy disinfecting the house and are keeping MSH in tip top shape!
  • Our residents are working together to paint a mural on our outdoor shed.
  • Our residents banded together to help a family in need obtain hygiene products (see below).

Resident Success Story

“I’m out of phase one now and have moved on to Phase 2 and am now working and still able to work on myself and my recovery and my relationship with my kids. There is no way I’d be able to do Any of this if it wasn’t for the Magdalene house and the women that work with us. My daughter is deaf and they have even accommodated my schedule to get me one on one sign language classes so I can communicate with my daughter. Every single need of mine is met and some!! I know because of Magdalene staff and volunteers that I will be able to finally succeed in life. I will forever be grateful!!”

Community Partner Spotlight

This month we wanted to feature Dr. Wilson at Sequoyah Dental! Dr. Wilson and his team provide pro-bono and deeply discounted dental care to support our residents in achieving optimal dental health. Dr Wilson’s team has provided cleanings, fillings, root canals, and dentures to help our residents feel confident with their smiles. All of our residents actually look forward to going to the dentist due to Dr. Wilson’s kind and compassionate care. Thank you Dr. Wilson and team for taking such excellent care of our residents. We are grateful for your generous support of our mission!

Dr. Wilson is a native Arkansan, originally from El Dorado, AR. He left El Dorado after high school to attend the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville to pursue an undergraduate degree in Biology. Dr. Wilson then attended the University of Tennessee Health Science Center where he earned his Doctorate of Dental Surgery. After dental school, Dr. Wilson decided to devote one more year to dental education where he attended a General Practice Residency at UAMS in Little Rock, AR. During this year, Dr. Wilson experienced advanced education in dental treatment as well as other aspects of medicine in a hospital setting. After his residency, Dr. Wilson and his wife Chloe decided to return to North West Arkansas with their two dogs, Moose and Bella. Dr. Wilson enjoys spending time outdoors, hiking, camping, videography, carpentry, and spending time with friends and family. Dr. Wilson brings a desire to do what is in the best interest of his patients while providing esthetic and quality dental care.

Thank You Dr. Wilson and Team!

NWA Gives Save the Date!

It is the day of annual giving in Northwest Arkansas! Mark your calendars for April 2 from 8:00am-8:00pm and make a donation to Magdalene Serenity House. You can help us reach our goal of $2,500 to continue providing high quality, holistic care to women who have experienced trauma, addiction, and incarceration. Every little bit helps us achieve our mission of rebuilding lives.

You can send a check to our mailing address:

PO Box 3394 Fayetteville, AR 72702

Or Donate Here electronically! We also have a wish list of needed items here.

Current Needs

In order to minimize interaction with the public, we have put all of our organization needs on our Amazon Wish List. Check out our wish list to purchase one of our high priority items to support our residents during this difficult time. Questions? Contact ashley@lovehealsnwa.org.

Postponed Event

We had to postpone our Smokehouse Players Benefit. Terry and Time hope to reschedule the show for later this summer when it is safe and healthy to gather together again. Stay tuned for an update!
FYI: We have SEVEN matching donors for this performance. This is HUGE and we are grateful to these folks for their support! Thank you for your generosity, Carolyn and Nick Cole, Kathy and Lowell Grisham, Bob and Brenda Gullett, Hannah and Greg Lee, Linda and Bob McMath, Donna and Jim Meinecke, and Margaret and Dick Rutherford!
Want to get in on being a matching donor? Contact terrytim@cox.net

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