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The Holistic Path to Recovery

Spring (February-April) 2024 Activity Schedule | Activities Calendar

This is a current schedule of weekly group-based activities focused around promoting overall health and well-being for adults living with serious mental health conditions who are served by the UNC Center for Excellence in Community Mental Health.

For questions or to signup, please contact Matt Ballard, Farm Program Manager,, 919-966-0933 (office) OR 919-533-9397 (cell). You can also request UNC staff/clinician send a referral to Matthew Ballard through Epic In Basket. Some groups have a waitlist. If a group is currently full, we will let you know when a spot opens up.

Most groups are located in-person at the UNC Farm at Penny Lane (263 Penny Lane, Pittsboro, NC 27312). A couple of groups also have a virtual or hybrid option. A shuttle is available from Carr Mill STEP but please reach out to schedule. The shuttle is a small blue bus that picks up at the outdoor pavilion in between CVS and Carr Mill Mall. The shuttle departs 30 minutes before the group starts and returns within 30 minutes after the group ends. When signing up for groups, please note if you will need the shuttle and we will try to make it available.

MONDAYS | classes meet most weeks except for holidays.
10:00am – 12:00pm | Therapeutic Horticulture
3:00pm – 4:00pm | Emotional Resiliency Skills (VIRTUAL)
3:00pm – 5:00pm | Community Volunteer Workday

TUESDAYS | classes or workshops meet on scheduled dates. See below.
9:30am – 12:00pm | Harvest Crew (Please contact us to apply for this group.)
11:00am – 12:30pm | Equine Therapy
1:00pm – 3:45pm | Month-Long, Off-Site Workshop Series

  • First Series | February 13 – March 12
    1:00pm – 2:15pm Workshop: Photovoice
    2:30pm – 3:45pm Workshop: Therapy Animals (Bunnies & Chickens)
  • Second Series | March 19 – April 16
    1:00pm – 2:15pm Workshop: TBD
    2:30pm – 3:45pm Workshop: TBD

6:00pm – 7:00pm Mindfulness Book Study (Virtual, please contact us for the link.)

WEDNESDAYS | classes meet most weeks.
We will offer two options during the same time and you are welcome to switch groups from week-to-week.

Option A
11:00am – 12:00pm | Yoga & Breathing
12:00pm – 1:30pm | Healthy Cooking
1:30pm – 2:00pm | Communal Lunch
2:00pm – 3:00pm | Music Over Mind

Option B
11:00am – 12:00pm | Bridging Body & Nature
12:00pm – 1:30pm | Brushes with Life
1:30pm – 2:00pm | Communal Lunch
2:00pm – 3:00pm | Creative Writing

THURSDAYS | classes meet February 8 through April 25.

10:00am – 12:00pm  | “Dig In”Farm Crew (Please contact us to apply for this group or for more information.)

We will offer two options during the same time and you are welcome to switch groups from week-to-week.

Option A
11:00am – 12:15pm | Sound Baths & Meditations
12:30pm – 1:15pm | Communal Lunch with Food & Mood
1:30pm – 2:45 pm | Moving through Life Social Skills

Option B
11:00am – 12:15pm | Movement for Self-Discovery
12:30pm – 1:15pm | Communal Lunch with Food & Mood
1:30pm – 2:45pm | Self-Compassion

Young Adult Track classes are
reserved for individuals under 35.

First Episode & Young Adult Track
11:00am – 12:15pm | Health Cooking
12:30pm – 1:15pm | Communal Lunch with Food & Mood
1:30pm – 2:45pm | Music Over Mind
3:00pm – 4:00pm | Yoga & Breathing

FRIDAYS | classes meet most weeks, except for PAWS. See below.
10:00am – 12:00pm | Community Volunteer Workday
12:00pm – 1:00pm | PAWS*
1:00pm – 2:30pm | Brushes with Life
2:30pm  – 4:00pm | Creative Writing

* Please contact us for a week-to-week schedule for the PAWS group as it will meet for 4-to-6 weeks at a time.

Bridging Body & Nature
This group offers guided activities to help participants reconnect to their bodies through presence in nature. We will use activities inspired by plant-based and nature-embodied movement to help individuals recognize their bodies as part of and connected to the natural world.

Brushes with Life (In-person or Virtual)
This group provides visual and expressive arts activities where participants can select from a wide range of mediums to express their thoughts and feelings. All skill levels are encouraged.

Creative Writing
This group aims to deepen personal vocabularies of presence, observation, and joy to become both more comfortable and more intentional in the ways we communicate with ourselves and others in the process of recovery.

Community Volunteer Workday
We meet as a community to tend the farm. The focus is on garden projects with all community members invited.

“Dig In” Farm Crew
This group focuses on learning seasonal gardening skills in a supportive environment and to give back by helping grow food for people impacted by mental illness. No green thumb is required, only an interest and regular commitment to learning basic gardening skills.

Emotional Resiliency Skills (Virtual Only)
This group provides a way to check in weekly with others and focuses on supporting each other through symptom management skills and recovery strategies. Time is also offered each week for brief group processing or problem-solving.

Equine Therapy
Learn healthy connection and communication from horses, the ultimate teachers. They have a unique ability to physiologically reduce symptoms, foster honesty and increase overall resilience.

Food and Mood Activity
This brief, lunch-time activity explores how food can influence how we feel about ourselves and help our symptoms. Topics include: healthy menus & budgeting strategies, food journaling, body image and the brain-gut axis. A free farm lunch is offered during the group.

Healthy Cooking & Lunch
This group focuses on healthy and delicious cooking instruction on a limited budget with seasonal produce. We cook alongside each other and socialize with each other. All skill levels are encouraged.

Mindfulness Book Study (Virtual Only)
Join an online support group for engaging ideas, expanding emotional and spiritual growth, and become aware of the many dimensions of healing through inner exploration.

Movement for Self-Discovery
This group will offer guided movement that honors choice and self-discovery. Through intentional, trauma-informed yoga-based exercises and discussions we will explore interconnectedness of mind-body and deepen our understanding of how we can calm down and nurture our nervous system for relaxation and increased mental well-being.

Moving Through Life Social Skills
Learn and practice social skills in an encouraging and low-pressure environment with the help of light movement. We’ll work alongside each other through negative symptoms around relationships and social situations and the emotions or thoughts that come up.

Music Over Mind
This group provides participants with the creative space to play an instrument, sing, and read poetry or prose to connect with yourself and each other. All skill levels are encouraged.

This group promotes healing and well-being through human-dog interaction. We teach skills, habits and methods of communication that all species can carry with them. Participants don’t need to be dog-owners to participate.

Photovoice (workshop)
This workshop will introduce photography as both a creative, therapeutic outlet and as a way to empower participants with a strong voice to share their lived experiences with others. We will explore the basics of photography as a group (no prior experience or supplies necessary!) and group members will work together to explore themes and questions of living with a mental health diagnosis through photography.

Self-Compassion (In-person or Virtual/Hybrid)
Learn and practice self-compassion techniques that are kind to yourself, help to ground yourself and recognize feelings, with the overall goal to decrease self judgment.

Sound Baths & Meditations
Does listening to your favorite music help calm you down, increase your energy levels, or help you to focus? This group provides collective space with various instruments by a musician to immerse yourself in resonant and ambient music, or sound waves, as a therapeutic practice.

Therapeutic Horticulture
This group provides weekly plant-based activities in and around the garden to help lower anxiety, boost your mood and encourage physical activity and regular outdoor time. Participants often go home with produce for the week. No green thumb is required!

Therapy Animals: Bunnies & Chickens (Workshop)
This workshop explores the social and emotional connections we can have with other animals who teach us about our own stress or trauma responses, our bonds with others, and other therapeutic benefits.Participants will be able to work directly with the animals.

Yoga & Breathing
This group focuses on using yoga to promote wellness and connect the mind and body. Sessions may include gentle stretching and twisting, breathing techniques and guided imagery. The instructor emphasizes listening to your body and feeling empowered.