Healing mind, body, and spirit in Tilghman

Healthy Tilghman leaders and partners gathered at the Tilghman Island Volunteer Fire Department on Monday, March 19 for a community forum. From left, Elizabeth Jaramillo, regional coordinator of For All Seasons; Beth Anne Langrell, executive director of For All Seasons; Diane Lane, executive director of Chesapeake Voyagers, Caroline Egelseder, LGSW with For All Season; the Rev. Linda Kind-Haddaway; Dr. Michael Flaherty; the Rev. Rob King; Rose Regan, Rodney Barrow; Mary Kellog, Tilghman Watermen’s Museum; Carol Zappe, Brandy Frampton.

TILGHMAN — For Tilghman, island living is about more than salt air, draw bridges and fishing — it is about building a healthy community.

Healthy Tilghman, a program seeking to treat the mind, body, and spirit of residents and neighbors of the Bay Hundred Area offers a wide variety of services including mental health and substance abuse counseling, yoga and even gardening.

The program launched in April 2016, through a partnership with Tilghman United Methodist Church, For All Seasons and other partnering agencies including the Talbot County Health Department, Mariah’s Mission, Corsica River, Mid-Shore Behavioral Health, St, Michaels Police Department, Phillips Wharf, and Chesapeake Voyagers.

Since its inception, the program has conducted 220 hours of counseling through For All Seasons, solely funded by grants and donations.

“I think the thing that makes this partnership possible is community,” said Beth Anne Langrell, executive director of For All Seasons. “The beauty of this program is connection.”

Caroline Egleseder, licensed graduate social worker with For All Seasons, leads the counseling division on the island and said she is honored to be part of the program and part of the community.

The major goal of the program is to have zero overdose deaths in the Bay Hundred area.

“Not one, not two, but zero,” said Dr. Michael Flaherty, a Pennsylvania-based psychologist, resident of Tilghman and national expert on addiction, recovery and overdose prevention.

“If we can’t do that in our geographical area, then no one can do it,” Flaherty said.

The second goal of Healthy Tilghman is to provide services for mental health counseling, substance abuse counseling all while strengthen the overall communities health, welfare and spirit.

“In short, our goals simply mean to stop the bleeding and bring in the health,” Flaherty said. “In other words bring in prevention.”

But prevention with Healthy Tilghman goes beyond “Just Say No.” Prevention on the island now encompasses education such as Narcan training, access to safe stations, peer support groups, yoga classes, gardening, and spiritual guidance.

On Monday, March 19, Healthy Tilghman leaders held a community forum to let the public know how each of these services are related to the program.

Each division of the program spoke to a crowd inside the Tilghman Island Volunteer Fire Department and explained how their program can benefit someone suffering from a mental health issue or a substance abuse issue.

Rose Regan and Carol Zappe spoke about peer support groups, what Flaherty called “the safety nets of the program.”

“If someone from this area calls and is in trouble and needs someone to talk to right away, they can call one of us,” Regan said. “Peer support is not reaching down, it is reaching out. We are one of you guys.”

Zappe said in addition to being available to individuals in crisis the peer support group also meets monthly for family members and friends who are affected by addiction.

“We can sit there and we can all talk,” Zappe said. “The parents, the sisters, sisters-in-law, brothersin-law, or the friends, who are taking care of these people, can tell their story. They can talk to everybody else and learn the skills to help their loved ones.”

The peer support groups meets from 6 to 7 p.m. on the fourth Wednesday of every month in the annex of Tilghman United Methodist Church.

Brandy Frampton, yoga instructor, explained how yoga fits into the Healthy Tilghman program and lifestyle.

“Yoga is a great physical body workout for sure,” Frampton said. “It is not just about stretching ... it works all your bodily systems as well. It is great for whatever ails you. My goal is for you to leave feeling different and being able to take what you learn and use it in your daily life.”

Sam Gilchrest of Phillips Wharf Environmental Center spoke to the crowd about how working in the community garden affects one’s overall health.

“The reason we are part of Healthy Tilghman is because working in the garden, with your hands, getting down and dirty can have a therapeutic effect,” Gilchrest said. “It can be very grounding.”

Gilchrest said there will be a garden building day from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 21, for anyone interested in helping. He said they are in need of individuals to paint, build, weed and plant the garden.

“Our whole reason for doing this is because having healthy individuals make for a healthy community,” Gilchrest said.

During the meeting, Rodney Barrow spoke about his 15-year struggle with addiction and what a program like Healthy Tilghman means to someone who is in recovery or who may be in need of recovery.

“For me being a local, born and raised down here, we weren’t allowed to say we had a problem, or that we needed help or that we were suffering. We just weren’t raised to say that.” Barrow said. “Now with something like this being down here. There is help. You just have to go out and get it. And it is OK to say you need help.”

In addition to the speakers, the event also featured a table of information about each program as well as vital numbers to call when someone is in a crisis.

Healthy Tilghman recently expanded its services to include a special substance user support group at 7 p.m. Tuesdays at the church annex.

For further information on Healthy Tilghman, contact Eglseder at For All Seasons at 410-822-1018 or ceglseder@forallseasonsinc.org or Flaherty of Tilghman United Methodist Church at 410-886-1108 or flahertymt@gmail.com.

All inquiries are confidential.

For ongoing updates on programs and services, please see the Healthy Tilghman Facebook page at www.facebook.com/Healthy Tilghman.

Follow me on Twitter @Dspiering617

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