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State Deputy Commissioner Joins Quarterly Celebration of Wellness Pilot Program

 WILLIMANTIC – Members of United Services Lighthouse Clubhouse have lost 101 pounds since April through a wellness pilot program, and the agency and Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services Deputy Commissioner Nancy Navarretta celebrated Friday.

United Services is part of a nationwide pilot program, In SHAPE, a research study to improve the physical health of people with serious mental illness by The National Council for Behavioral Health and Dartmouth College.

According to the National Council, people with Serious Mental Illness (SMI) in publicly funded mental health organizations have a reduced life-expectancy of 25-30 years compared to the general population. Obesity rates are twice as prevalent among persons with SMI compared to those without SMI.

United Services has seen great success with its In SHAPE program, enrolling 23 people and keeping a waitlist of 16. The agency has been holding the program out of its member-governed social clubhouse, The Lighthouse, in Willimantic, but is expanding the program to the Putnam and Danielson area early next year.

Navarretta visited the clubhouse Friday for a quarterly celebration, and congratulated members and the agency on their wellness success.