Spotlight on Project UPLIFT and Wellness in Colorado

Local Office Spotlight

Epilepsy News From:

Friday, May 24, 2019

Epilepsy Foundation of Colorado

This month, we shine a spotlight on the Epilepsy Foundation of Colorado. This local Foundation provides mental health support to people with epilepsy through Project UPLIFT. They also recently received a "Staying Happy, Healthy, Informed and Productive (SHHIP)" grant from the Epilepsy Foundation's Wellness Institute to support activities for staff's health and wellbeing. Read on to find out how the grant supported staff wellness activities to make the workplace a happier and healthier place.

Helping People with Epilepsy through Project UPLIFT

Project UPLIFT is a free skill building group for people with epilepsy provided over the phone and online. This group focuses on learning tools to manage depression, anxiety, and isolation related to the diagnosis and symptoms of epilepsy. Participants call in from all over the state of Colorado, and some even call in from states where there is not a local Epilepsy Foundation.

Mental Health Program Manager Heather Tousignant-Stanton LCSW, LMFT, and volunteer Mark DeFee LPC run UPLIFT at the Epilepsy Foundation of Colorado. They facilitate it 2-3 times a year, and typically have about six members per group. The Epilepsy Foundation of Colorado has been able to build partnerships with providers in the area who help refer clients to the program.

"Sometimes people are afraid of mental health therapy, don't have transportation, or just aren't ready for formal counseling," said CEO of the Epilepsy Foundation of Colorado Sarah Klein. "Project UPLIFT gives clients a chance to dip their toes into the water and learn and practice skills that they might learn in a group therapy environment in a way that is very accessible for people with mobility limitations."

Project UPLIFT helped me learn how to approach my thoughts about depression and epilepsy in a different way – a Project UPLIFT participant

"I learned new strategies and ways to cope with the way epilepsy affects me. I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to participate," said a recent Project UPLIFT participant.

Project UPLIFT is provided through the Managing Epilepsy Well (MEW) Network. The MEW Network is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A Happy and Healthy Office

The Epilepsy Foundation of Colorado also focuses on the needs of the staff supporting programs like Project UPLIFT and other local programs. As a recent recipient of a "Staying Happy, Health, Informed and Productive (SHHIP)" grant, they held a variety of activities that reflected the different dimensions of wellness outlined by the Wellness Institute over six months. Activities included:

Epilepsy Foundation of Colorado had a puppy day
  • JulyStress Reduction: Office massages and stress balls
  • AugustPhysical Activity: Step Challenge
  • SeptemberHealthy Eating: Food journal and Healthy Recipe Potluck Challenge
  • October — Social Wellness: One-on-one staff lunches, team greeting card making activity, and volunteer project for animal shelter
  • November — Emotional Wellness: Puppy Day
  • DecemberSleep: Sleep tracking and sleep aids

"The SHHIP project reminded our team that we need to take care of ourselves so that we can better serve our clients," said a staff member. "By focusing on different wellness challenges each month, we learned that wellness is different for each person. The different wellness categories brought our staff closer together and fostered a more cohesive environment in the office."

We did a 'walk 10,000 steps a day' challenge. We walked together in small groups, and it was a nice way to build camaraderie with co-workers while losing some pounds.

The Epilepsy Foundation of Colorado provides other programs including:

Thank you to the Epilepsy Foundation of Colorado for the amazing wellness support your provide your staff and people living with epilepsy!

Related Links

Authored by: Sarah Klein on 5/2019
Reviewed by: Liz Dueweke MPH on 5/2019

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The mission of the Epilepsy Foundation is to lead the fight to overcome the challenges of living with epilepsy and to accelerate therapies to stop seizures, find cures, and save lives.

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