CHAA promotes wellness among youths at RYSE Center

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In an effort to make the transition from youth to adulthood as seamless as possible, CHAA has established itself as the Health and Wellness anchor at the RYSE Center in Richmond. In addition to housing CHAA’s counseling services, RYSE offers educational and creative programming for youth aged 14-24.

While many may associate counseling with crisis, CHAA encourages RYSE members to utilize their services anytime they feel the need to talk.

“Some may want to discuss improving grades, escaping an abusive environment, or just share a longing to make a lifestyle change,” said Morgan Lloyd, Lead RYSE Wellness Counselor. “Regardless of the subject matter, counselors are always present to provide support in a safe and confidential atmosphere.”

One of CHAA’s flagship programs at RYSE features overall wellness plans that help students identify and achieve the life they desire.

The plans, according to Lloyd, revolve around a ‘wellness wheel’ in which clients rate how content they are with various areas of their lives on a scale of 1-5, with 5 being the happiest. Areas of focus include family, school, career, personal relationships, and fitness, among others.

After rating their satisfaction, the client chooses a life area he or she would like to most improve and — with feedback from the counselor — formulates a plan to address it. A few months later, the client meets again with a CHAA counselor to check in on progress and tweak the plan if necessary.

One great thing about wellness plans is that clients can achieve their goals through CHAA’s collaborations and partnerships with community organizations, Lloyd said.

“If one person is concerned about physical fitness, we can connect them with the Aikido, dance, and yoga classes at RYSE, or with membership at the YMCA,” Lloyd said. “If another is concerned about sexual health, we can put them in touch with Planned Parenthood.”

Lloyd encourages all RYSE members to give the plans a try.

“The wellness plans aren’t mandatory, and they certainly don’t mean that you’ve been bad,” Lloyd said. “They have turned out to be pretty popular, and students value that highly personalized time. So far there’s been nothing but positive feedback.”