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The Holistic Path to Recovery

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.

Most of the groups are open and run throughout the year, unless otherwise stated. Please note some of the groups are time-limited to certain dates. In-person groups may be postponed due to COVID surges; please sign up and we will inform you of any changes.

To register for a group, or if you have any questions: Contact Farm Program Manager Matt Ballard, 919-533-9397

MONDAYS

Therapeutic Horticulture (Ongoing)
10:00am – 12:00pm, In-person, Farm at Penny Lane
This group provides plant-based activities in and around the garden to help lower anxiety, boost your mood and encourage physical activity and regular outdoor time.

Emotional Resiliency Skills (Ongoing)
3:00pm – 4:00pm, Virtual via Zoom
This group provides a way to check in weekly with other peers and focuses on supporting your recovery goals through various self-management skills and mindfulness practices.

Garden Volunteer (Ongoing)
3:00pm – 5:00pm, In-person, Farm at Penny Lane
We meet as a community to tend the farm. Volunteers assist with planting, watering, weeding, mulching, harvesting and special projects. Sign up at http://signup.com/go/LoRwSa.

 

TUESDAYS

Brushes with Life (Ongoing)
10:30am – 12:00pm, Virtual via Zoom OR In-person, Farm at Penny Lane
This group provides visual arts activities where participants can select from a wide range of mediums to express their thoughts and emotions. All skill levels are encouraged.

Garden Crew (February 15 through May 24)
3:00pm – 4:30pm, In-person, Farm at Penny Lane
This group focuses on learning seasonal gardening skills for personal and vocational goals and practicing them in a supportive environment.

 

WEDNESDAYS

Wednesday groups run together February 9 thru April 20. Shuttle is available as a roundtrip, departing at 10:40am and returning by 3:20pm, since the groups are back-to-back. Participants will need to find other transportation if they choose to arrive or leave at different times. You’re also welcome to hang out on-site if not attending a certain group.

Yoga & Breathing
11:00am – 12:00pm, In-person, Farm at Penny Lane
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.

Cooking & Lunch
12:00pm – 2:00pm, In-person, Farm at Penny Lane
This group focuses on healthy and delicious cooking instruction on a limited budget and to work on increasing greater appreciation for food. We cook along with and socialize with each other. All skill levels are encouraged.

Music Over Mind
2:00pm – 3:00pm, In-person, Farm at Penny Lane
This group provides participants with the creative space to play an instrument, sing, and read poetry or prose with each other. All skill levels are encouraged.

 

THURSDAYS

Unlike Wednesdays, transportation will be provided roundtrip for each Thursday group. If you plan to attend both Thursday groups, please bring your own food as lunch won’t be provided.

Forest Therapy or Shinrin-yoku (March 10 through April 28)
10:00am – 12:00pm, In-person, Farm at Penny Lane
This group provides structured, sensory activities that engage the healing qualities of a forest through a short trail walk. Participants are invited to build meaningful relationships with other living things to help improve mood, focus and immune response. This is not a hiking group.

Wellness Management & Recovery (begins March 3, currently no end date)
1:00pm – 2:30pm, In-person, Farm at Penny Lane
This group provides an educational opportunity to learn about various wellness and recovery topics (for example, goal-setting, facts about mental health symptoms, coping with stressors, building social supports) and practice new strategies and skills.

 

FRIDAYS

Garden Volunteer (Ongoing)
10:00am – 12:00pm, In-person, Farm at Penny Lane
We meet as a community to tend the farm. Volunteers assist with planting, watering, weeding, mulching, harvesting and special projects. Sign up at http://signup.com/go/LoRwSa.


Locations

Groups are currently located either at the UNC Farm at Penny Lane, the UNC STEP Clinic at Carr Mill, or as a virtual option when available.

UNC Farm at Penny Lane |  263 Penny Lane, Pittsboro, NC 27312
UNC STEP Clinic at Carr Mill | 200 N. Greensboro St., Suite C-6, Carrboro, NC 27510

Transportation

Transportation is available from the CVS parking lot/pavilion at Carr Mill Mall and back for groups at the UNC Farm at Penny Lane (marked with ***). The shuttle departs 30 minutes before the group starts and returns within 30 minutes after the group ends. When registering for those groups, please note if you will need the shuttle. (For Wednesdays groups at the Farm, transportation is only available for a round-trip to depart at 10:30am and return by 3:30pm since the groups are back-to-back. Participants will need to find other transportation if they choose to arrive or leave at different times.)

COVID-19 Safety Precautions

Groups located indoors at the UNC STEP Clinic at Carr Mill will follow all required UNC School of Medicine protocols. Groups located at the UNC Farm at Penny Lane will be held outdoors. Groups that don’t meet in the garden will meet outdoors under the shade of the new Outdoor Pavilion. Brief symptom screenings and masks will be required for shuttle transportation.


Volunteer Opportunities in the Garden

We meet as a community to tend the farm. Volunteers assist with planting, watering, weeding, mulching, harvesting, trail maintenance, and special projects.
Every Monday, 3 PM – 5 PM
Every Friday, 10 AM – 12 PM
Third Saturdays (March-November) from 9 AM – 12 PM

Volunteering Guidelines:

  • Please give us 24 hour notice when signing up or canceling. We plan our work around  volunteer availability. If you arrive unexpectedly or don’t show up at all it can have a major impact on our staff.
  • Wear closed-toed shoes, dress for the weather, and bring a reusable drink container, sunscreen, and bug spray.
  • All volunteers must complete a Volunteer Information Form and a Visitor Consent, Release, and Indemnity Agreement.
  • Youth, 17 and younger without a driver’s license, must be under the supervision of a parent or guardian.

VOLUNTEERS SIGN UP