Southern Oregon Mind-body Outreach Project,
A Program of Healing Blues, Inc.
Bringing wellness therapies to the underserved

Fiscally sponsored by Yoga Blue, Inc.

Programs

Southern Oregon Mind-body Outreach Project (SOMOP), a Program of Healing Blues, Inc. provides classes that teach mind-body therapies to underserved populations in the Rogue Valley.   From 2010 until the school's closure in September 2015, our teachers have worked with at-risk teens between the ages of 14 and 18 at Community Works’ Lithia Springs Residential Treatment Program (LSP) in Ashland, Oregon. The Lithia Springs teens were in residential treatment and attended the alternative high school approximately nine to twelve months until they graduated and were on track to leave the justice system. A mandatory part of their treatment, our program objectives were to teach the participants how to use mind-body practices to restore health and develop an ongoing practice of daily self-care.    

Certified instructors worked with as many as 35 teens per week, teaching 
techniques to focus the mind, set positive goals, calm the emotions, and recognize the triggers that lead to self-destructive behavior.

SOMOP focused on early intervention in working with this specific population of the juvenile justice system served by LSP. Resiliency is a defining characteristic of these teens, despite extreme circumstances of poverty, racism, and abuse, which makes them excellent candidates for receiving the many benefits of mind-body therapies, such as increased self-esteem, self care, and sense of purpose, as well as a greater connection with the community and a sense of personal responsibility toward others.

SOMOP program provided these teens with opportunities that are not available through traditional rehabilitation, yet dovetailed with current program requirements for residential treatment.

We continue to work with at-risk teens at Armadillo Technical Institute and Ashland High School.

The SOMOP program curriculum draws from a variety of mind-body therapies to meet the needs of at-risk youth according to prevention and early intervention research. 
We have expanded our outreach to include weekly classes for teens at Armadillo Technical Institute.  We are also working with clients at Addictions Recovery Center and OnTrack, Inc.

Our long term plan is to facilitate more programs for addictions, trauma, domestic abuse, active duty military and veterans, and at-risk youth. We will expand our reach through collaboration with existing mental health programs and treatment providers.  We also aim to deepen the quality of the SOMOP curriculum by integrating outcomes from participant evaluations and staff feedback. Each group of students is different. We modify our approach accordingly, even though the SOMOP curriculum is consistently based on time-tested practices. We intend to continue conducting research to establish our curriculum as evidence-based treatment for enhancing impulse control, stress reduction, concern for physical health and anger management. It is our hope to eventually provide online programs to reach those who can't access classes, and for ongoing support
for our graduates.



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