Since September 2018, Block Island Wellness Coalition has joined with NAMI BI. The Wellness Coalition Coordinator, Jill Seppa in a member of the NAMI BI Board, as well as being the BI coordinator .
Block Island Wellness [even earlier known as “The Prevention Task Force”, and before that BICEP] was supported for many years by state substance abuse prevention funding. In 2018, strategic changes from RI State Prevention Planning discontinued local organizations, creating instead regional groups. BI Wellness Coalition became part of the regional South County Prevention Coalition, where work continues, and Jill is still the BI representative there.
Recognizing the commonality and overlap with part of mental health aims, and how many of the Wellness programs were specific to BI, NAMI BI invited the BI Wellness team to join them to help preserve their local knowledge and activity.
This has been a fruitful follow-up to the NAMI BI Spring 2017 Mental Health Conference that focused on opioids, with contribution from BI Wellness.
The BI Wellness mission: to educate substance abuse awareness and prevention in the Block Island Community, and promote wellness.
As Joel Taylor once wrote in the Block Island Times: “The Wellness Coalition has a seriously deep understanding of the very root causes of drug and alcohol abuse, which are so thoroughly intertwined with mental and spiritual health. they realize it’s crucial to begin working on those things at a young age, and they dedicate a lot of their time to that cause…” [BI Times 11/29/14]
NAMI BI and the island community are glad to continue support for the activities on Block Island in whatever ways we can.
Further history of the Wellness group can be seen on site pages from the now out-of-date BI Wellness website.