"Like the McBurney YMCA, Fountain House has a strong commitment to our community and to supporting New Yorkers in healthy living. For over 10 years they have made membership at our McBurney Y on 14th Street available to their members and staff. By building a health-conscious culture at Fountain House, they are taking the lead in addressing the serious health issues facing people living with mental illness."
- John Rappaport
Executive Director, McBurney YMCA
Poor preventive health care is an epidemic among those with serious mental illness, resulting in a life expectancy 25 years shorter than the national average. In 2004, a concerned working group created our wellness initiative in response to the tragic deaths of four members under 40 within the same month. We opened the beautiful Peter B. Lewis and Adam Lewis Wellness Center in October 2011, and it now serves as the hub of our health and wellness activities.
The Wellness program focuses on three overlapping areas: fitness, education, and healthy eating. We offer numerous opportunities to get Fountain House moving: fun competitions that encourage use of our gym; fitness classes taught by guest instructors; and organized trips to rock climb, bike in Central Park, and kayak on the Hudson River. Informative workshops, preventive health screenings, and support groups for weight loss, smoking cessation, and substance abuse provide the information and encouragement people need to make positive changes in their health habits.
A state-of-the-art kitchen turns out fresh juices, salads, and nutritious snacks every day, and it serves as a teaching facility for healthy and affordable cooking classes.
The Baer Center - our "Health Home"
The complex health challenges facing people living with major mental illness call for an integrated solution. For more than15 years, the Sidney Baer Center has offered centralized, consistent psychiatric and primary medical care in connection with Fountain House's community-based recovery programs. This approach - known as a "health home"- is quickly gaining favor as a solution to improve care while decreasing costs among special needs Medicaid recipients.
The Baer Center combined with Fountain House's Lewis Wellness Center offers a truly comprehensive wellness solution that empowers people with mental illness to improve their overall health and achieve their life goals.
"I weighed over 300 lbs. and took medication for my blood pressure, triglycerides, and cholesterol. The Wellness Unit was the vehicle that got me started on a healthy lifestyle. Now I am down to 191 lb. and off all of those medications."
- David D.
Member, Fountain House