The SRCHC Community Health and Wellness team piloted a unique program this past fall, introducing mindfulness practice while working with clay. Over the course of 8 weeks, the Mindfulness with Clay program supported individuals in learning new wellness techniques while safely re-engaging with others in a community setting. The program was open to all clients, and community members of SRCHC.
The program attracted a lot of interest from within and outside of SRCHC. There were over 30 individuals interested, and once screening and referrals from SRCHC staff were complete, 10 clients were registered for the program.
The participants represented diverse lived experiences, with seven participants being from within Black, Indigenous and people of colour (BIPOC) communities. The participants were reflective of most, if not all, SRCHC program and services areas including: Clinical, Diabetes Education Community of East Toronto (DECNET), Harmony Hall Community Food Centre (Harmony CFC), Seniors and Social Work.
The program was the first-time participants were exposed to clay and mindfulness. However, by the end of the first session, participants were already practicing and looking forward to learning more. Participants reported feeling welcomed, supported, and said they maid new connections and friends in the process.
All participants shared that their health and well-being improved through the Mindfulness and Clay program. They learned new skills, gained experience in both mindfulness and clay, and felt a sense of belonging. Participants would highly recommend the program to others. Below are some quotes from participants.
“I really enjoyed this mindfulness program, I feel more positive”
“I felt a sense of belonging, everyone was very welcoming”.
“Best time ever, never knew I can do and the clay made me smile again!”
“Very therapeutic, had a great time. I am glad I got opportunity to join this mindfulness program. I really enjoyed this program, I feel more present focusing my day to day life”.
Due to the success of the pilot, a winter session will be held for SRCHC clients, and community members. For program details please contact Gurpreet, Community Health & Wellness Health Promoter at 416-419-5934.