Scattergood Foundation

Advancing Innovative Strategies for Change in Behavioral Health

Collaborative Support Programs of New Jersey

Name of Innovative Program: 
Wellness Model
Sponsoring Organization
Collaborative Support Programs of New Jersey
Name of Innovative Program Lead: 
Peggy Swarbrick
E-mail Address of Innovative Program Lead:
Project Description: 
The Collaborative Support Programs of New Jersey Inc.,  Wellness Institute Director, Peggy Swarbrick, proposed, developed and refined a Wellness Model[1] for behavioral health as a model for treatment, prevention and recovery.  This model is a framework in a variety of settings serving people at risk or living with mental and substance use disorders including attention to workforce wellness[2].  Wellness is a conscious, deliberate process that requires a person to become aware of and make choices for a more satisfying lifestyle. Wellness is conceptualized as interrelated dimensions: Physical, Intellectual, Social, Spiritual, Mental/Emotional, Environmental, Occupational, and Financial.  The efforts of Dr. Swarbrick and the CSPNJ Wellness Institute promulgating this model has had specific impact on people with ongoing mental and substance use disorders, institutions, organizations, professionals[3] as it is becoming accepted throughout the behavioral health community.[1] Swarbrick, M. (2006). A Wellness Approach. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal, 29, (4) 311- 314.[2] Swarbrick, M., D’Antonio, D., & Nemec, P. (2011). Promoting Staff Wellness. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal (34) 334-36; .[3] Swarbrick, M., & Moosvi, K (2010). Wellness: A practice for our lives and work. Journal of Psychosocial Nursing, 48 (7), 2-3; 
Creativity and Innovation: 
This model was applied personally and then at state psychiatric hospitals[1] .  While all eight dimensions are important , there is an implicit focus on improving physical wellness. This is critical both due to the overall physical health crisis in our country and due to the longevity and health disparities people face. We partnered  to develop a Peer Wellness Coaching approach[2], and developed a model for health screenings[3].  [1] Swarbrick, M. (March 1997). A wellness model for clients. Mental Health Special Interest Section Quarterly, 20, 1-4;[2]  Swarbrick, M. (2013). Wellness-Oriented Peer Approaches: A Key Ingredient for Integrated Care. Psychiatric Services, 64 (8), 723-26; Swarbrick, et al (2011). Wellness Coaching: A new role for peers. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal (34), 328-31.[3] Swarbrick, M., et al (December 2013). Health Screening Dialogues, Psychosocial Nursing Journal 51 (12), 22-28. 
The Wellness  model is considered nationally by the US Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), state behavioral health care authorities[1] and managed care companies, as a key approach to improving quality of life and to address the lifespan disparities.  We freely share this models and support for individuals groups and organizations to apply and adapt to local level needs.  We regularly creates and disseminates freely tools and resources for individuals group and organizations to apply and adapt. In 2013, the National Alliance on Mental Illness awarded Dr.  Swarbrick the Lionel Aldridge Champion Award for leadership and service developing the 8 dimensional model of wellness.  We help groups  adapt and adopt considering local cultural and ethnic needs.[1] Cited in the New Jersey Wellness and Recovery Transformation Statement in 2006 and the Center for Mental Health Services Wellness Campaign  
A platform for sustainability and growth has been established via the  SAMHSA Wellness Campaign. We have helped state mental health and addiction authorities and managed care companies consider how to apply this framework.  The Wellness Model considers the issues of poverty, social isolation, and significant challenges people face related to poor physical health (high rates of smoking sedentary lifestyle, consumption of substances and chemicals that contribute to poor health and poor quality of life, etc.). This model offers a lens of promoting health and prevention rather than mainly disease management and symptom control. People are empowered to take action to maintain their health, their financial control, their sense of faith active engagement in meaningful occupation, etc.  The model offers practical ways to empower people to assume control rather than relying on costly services and supports that often impede quality of life and self direction.
 We have developed a variety of simple wellness tools and discussion guides (Wellness in the 8 Dimensions) disseminated widely and downloaded (Over 3000 have been downloaded from our website and we have copied over 2500) that empower people to take inventory of their strengths and needs, set their own priorities, and chart their own daily habits and routines. Wellness is something people “do for themselves,” rather than something often “done to for or for” somebody.  Information about the Wellness Model is widely disseminated through SAMHSA, through the peer-reviewed literature, and through the Words of Wellness newsletter and other routes.  This  model fully supports many local state and federal initiatives including Healthy People 2020[1] We have been disseminating The Wellness Model and its offshoots through conferences, peer-reviewed publications.  Internal dissemination efforts include adding to peer support centers, supported housing services, and, most recently, Crisis Respite diversion program. [1] 
The model recognizes the Social Determinants of Wellness[2], therefore improving one’s finances, living situation has the likelihood of improving one’s health and longevity. The potential for researching these aspects of the model are promising. Our current research and discussion regarding integrated wellness measures focuses on quality of life metrics.  We regularly assist individuals groups and organizations to secure used friendly outcome metrics. We are currently creating a repository of metrics focused on individual group and organization factors to evaluate how the wellness model impacts individuals groups and communities served.   [1] Swarbrick, M. & Yudof, J. (2009).Words of wellness.  Occupational Therapy in Mental Health, (25), 367-412.
  1. Swarbrick, M. (2012). A Wellness Approach to Mental Health Recovery. In Recovery of People with Mental Illness: Philosophical and Related Perspectives. Abraham Rudnick,(ed). Oxford Press.