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April is Stress Awareness Month


Stress Management mind map, business concept, presentation background

Take time to unwind…

Stress happens. Sometimes it’s unavoidable, at times it’s unbearable. That’s why taking time for yourself is invaluable. It’s healthy to relax, renew, and rejuvenate.


Stress does not merely afflict your mind; it can also affect you on a cellular level. In fact, long-term stress can lead to a wide range of illnesses—from headaches to stomach disorders to depression—and can even increase the risk of serious conditions like stroke and heart disease. Understanding the mind/stress/health connection can help you better manage stress and improve your health and well-being.


Everyone has different ways they like to relax and unwind. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Take a walk
  • Read a book
  • Go for a run
  • Have a cup of tea
  • Play a sport
  • Spend time with a friend or loved one
  • Meditate (learn how in the sidebar)
  • Do yoga



First Day of Spring

beautiful bloom blooming blossom



Charming Spring

by Patricia L. Cisco

Reminiscent melodies
serenade the morning breeze.

Feathered creatures nest with care
in cherry blossoms pink and fair.

Perfumed scent of roses flow.
Tiny blades of green grass grow.

Misty showers soak the earth,
glorious colors come to birth.

Gathering clouds come and go,
rain, sun, and vibrant bow.

Dainty petals, fancy flair,
dancing in the warm, sweet air.

Violets, yellows, purest white,
graceful, gentle, welcomed sight.

Thank you, oh sweet lovely Spring,
patiently waiting the charms you bring!




The weather is changing outside. The birds are chirping, the flowers are blooming and the sun is shining. Despite this pleasant change in weather, historically, many people experience mental health issues during the springtime. It is possible that part of this could be connected to seasonal pollen allergies, as they affect over 36 million people.1

For more information, you can read futher at




Daylight Savings

antique architecture classic clock



Turn that clock back!

2 AM Time Shifts to 1 hour forward!  Don’t forget to change those clocks!

A little history on WHY we turn back time.

The idea of changing clocks forward an hour in the spring and back an hour in the fall was first suggested by Benjamin Franklin in an essay published in the Journal de Paris in 1784.

Many other countries change their clocks when adjusting to summer time, but the United States only began doing so towards the end of World War I in an attempt to conserve energy.  But it wasn’t recognized until 1918 by House of Representatives but there was a huge discord with the public who disliked the government interfering.  Again around World War II it was reinstituted but left to the states to enforce.

Congress finally made a law, Uniform Time Act of 1966 to change it to cover the US uniformly.

So you can thank Benjamin Franklin…

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National Day of Unplugging!

National Day of Unplugging

Starting on March 1st for 24 hours straight!
A 24 hour global respite from technology.
It highlights the value of disconnecting from digital devices to connect with ourselves,
our loved ones and our communities in real time.
Continue reading “UNPLUG and RELAX”

(=^◡^=) Love Your Pet Day ▼(´ᴥ`)▼


February 20th is National Love Your Pet Day!

6 Ways Pets Relieve Depression

By Therese J. Borchard 

6 Ways Pets Relieve Depression

The day I returned from inpatient therapy, my Lab-Chow mix cuddled up to me on the bed as I cried. She looked into my defeated gaze and licked my tears.

I was astounded that this creature was capable of the empathy that I so craved in my closest friends and relatives. It was like she could read the pathetic and sad thoughts that disabled me and wanted me to know I was lovable in the midst of my suffering.

She continues to be a supportive presence in my life, especially on the days that I grow weary of trying on — and throwing out — every mindful exercise and cognitive behavioral strategy… the hours where staying positive seems impossible. She gets it. I know she does.

Every week I hear tales of four-legged creatures becoming angels in times of terrifying darkness. Indeed, a substantial body of research indicates that pets improve our mental health.

How? Here are a few ways.

1. Pets offer a soothing presence.

Studies indicate that merely watching fish lowers blood pressure and muscle tension in people about to undergo oral surgery. That’s why all the aquariums in dentists’ offices! Think of the behavior Darla in Disney Pixar’s “Finding Nemo” would have exhibited without the fish tank.

Other research shows that pet owners have significantly lower blood pressure and heart rate both before and while performing stressful mental tasks — like, say, performing a family intervention or supervising kids’ homework. Finally, persons recovering from heart attacks recover more quickly and survive longer when there is a pet at home. It seems as though their mere presence is beneficial.

2. Pets offer unconditional love and acceptance.

As far as we know, pets are without opinions, critiques, and verdicts. Even if you smell like their poop, they will snuggle up next to you. In a Johns Hopkins Depression & Anxiety Bulletin, Karen Swartz, M.D. mentions a recent study where nursing home residents in St. Louis felt less lonely with some quiet time with a dog alone than a visit with both a dog and other residents.

The study enrolled 37 nursing home residents who scored high on a loneliness scale and who were interested in receiving weekly half-hour visits from dogs. Half of the residents had quiet time alone with the pooches. The other half shared the dog with other nursing home residents. Both groups said they felt less lonely after the visit, but the decrease in loneliness was much more significant among the residents that had the dogs all to themselves. In other words, at times we prefer our four-legged friends to our mouthy pals because we can divulge our innermost thoughts and not be judged.

3. Pets alter our behavior.

Here’s a typical scenario. I come through the door in the evening and I’m annoyed. At what, I don’t know. A million little snafus that happened throughout the day. I am dangerously close to taking it out on someone. However, before I can do that, my Lab-Chow walks up to me and pats me, wanting some attention. So I kneel down and pet her. She licks my face, and I smile. Voila! She altered my behavior. I am only agitated a little now and chances are much better that someone will not become a casualty of my frustrations. We calm down when we are with our dogs, cats, lizards, and pigs. We slow our breath, our speech, our minds. We don’t hit as many people or use as many four-lettered words.

4. Pets distract.

Pets are like riveting movies and books. They take us out of our heads and into another reality – one that only involves food, water, affection, and maybe an animal butt – for as long as we can allow. I’ve found distraction to be the only effective therapy when you’ve hit a point where there is no getting your head back. It’s tough to ruminate about how awful you feel and will feel forever when your dog is breathing in your face.

5. Pets promote touch.

The healing power of touch is undisputed. Research indicates a 45-minute massage can decrease levels of the stress hormone cortisol and optimize your immune system by building white blood cells. Hugging floods our bodies with oxytocin, a hormone that reduces stress, and lowers blood pressure and heart rates. And, according to a University of Virginia study, holding hands can reduce the stress-related activity in the hypothalamus region of the brain, part of our emotional center. The touch can actually stop certain regions of the brain from responding to threat clues. It’s not surprising, then, that stroking a dog or cat can lower blood pressure and heart rate and boost levels of serotonin and dopamine.

6. Pets make us responsible.

With pets come great responsibility, and responsibility — according to depression research — promotes mental health. Positive psychologists assert that we build our self-esteem by taking ownership of a task, by applying our skills to a job. When we succeed — i.e., the pet is still alive the next day — we reinforce to ourselves that we are capable of caring for another creature as well as ourselves. That’s why chores are so important in teaching adolescents self-mastery and independence.

Taking care of a pet also brings structure to our day. Sleeping until noon is no longer a possibility unless you want to spend an hour cleaning up the next day. Staying out all night needs some preparation and forethought.

Person Petting Orange Tabby Cat

In this article by NAMI, Allison White discusses the Power of Pet Therapy.

Pet Therapy Dog Visiting Senior Male Patient

If you’re not in a position to be owned by a pet, there are many ways to still enjoy the wonders of a pet relationship. Volunteering at a local animal shelter or working with  rescue group for animals who are lacking for companionship and attention would benefit both you and the animals.

A local animal therapy program here in the Midlands is PAALS (Palmetto Animal Assisted Life Services. OR  803-788-7063 for more information




This Sunday is National Random Acts of Kindness Day

Our days are happier when we give people a piece of our heart rather than a piece of our mind Unknown



Observed on February 17th, National Random Acts of Kindness Day has grown in popularity each year.  It is celebrated by individuals, groups and organizations nationwide to encourage acts of kindness.

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not. Dr. Seuss

Ideas for Random Acts of Kindness

  • Wheel out your neighbor’s trash can or cut their grass.
  • Write positive notes to people to make them smile.
  • Plant a tree or flower for someone.
  • Adopt~ Don’t shop!
  • Compliment a parent on their child’s behavior.
  • Send an encouraging email or text.
  • Drink more water for yourself.
  • Put in extra quarters for dryers at laundromats.
  • Recycle your papers, plastics and glass.
  • Make a get well package for a coworker or friend.


So on Valentine’s day you are reminded to tell yourself and your loved ones that they are special.

On Random Acts of Kindness day, lets show lots of others they are special as well.

Kindness is free; let's pass it on Unknown



Happy Valentine’s Day



Valentine’s Day is usually depicted with flowers, candy and stuffed bears for your sweetheart.  Pictures of date nights, roses and rings are all you see on television and the internet.  There is someone missing in these depictions of showing the epic love story.  Its the story of self love.

In the article written by Sahar Aker for Mental Health America.

(Her blog on is about how she is overcoming clinical depression day by day.)

It shows 10 ways to show yourself some love on Valentine’s day.

10 Ways to Show Yourself Some Love on Valentine’s Day

By Sahar Aker, Founder of I Choose Beauty

I didn’t get married until I was 42, and trust me when I say I had plenty of years before then that I was single on Valentine’s Day.

Seeing my friends and co-workers get roses and boxes of chocolate from their significant others made me question why this holiday should even exist.

But, since Valentine’s Day isn’t going anywhere, why not take advantage of the lovefest in a different way?

No partner? No problem.

Try these ideas to spread lots of love…to yourself.

1. Make yourself a care package.

Fill a pretty box or basket with a few of your favorite things to enjoy on Valentine’s Day. Mine would definitely include dark chocolate, herbal tea, and some lavender essential oil.

2. Go shopping.

Give yourself permission to splurge a little. You deserve it. Buy yourself a special little something.

3. Plan a fun night with friends.

Rally your single pals and make the holiday about hanging out together – kind of like Friendsgiving with a Valentine’s Day twist. Make dinner reservations for an evening out with your group or have a cozy night in and enjoy each other’s company.

4. Make a list of at least 3 things you love about yourself.

Whether it’s a part of your body, something about your personality, or a special talent you have—write it down and show yourself some love.

5. Spa night.

Indulge in some self-care at home with a face mask, bubble bath, and candles. It’s probably been way too long since you took some time out for yourself.

6. Get pampered.

Schedule a massage, mani/pedi, or maybe a blowout. Relax, and let someone else take care of you.

7. Be selfish.

Do something that makes you happy. Maybe that’s a yoga class, dancing to loud music, or baking. You do you.

8. Wear someting that makes you feel good.

Strut your stuff today in your favorite jeans, shoes, or adorned with that necklace that always makes you smile.

9. Take some down time.

Binge-watch Netflix, browse through your favorite magazines, or do some deep breathing. Inhale self-love, exhale self-doubt.

10. Buy your own darn chocolate and flowers, if that’s your thing.

Who says you have to wait for someone else to do it for you? Pick up some fresh flowers from the grocery store or Farmers Market and go to that chocolate shop and get yourself a few special seasonal treats.

Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to just be about the love of a partner.

In my book, it’s all about love. Period.











Art, Presentations, Talks and Seminars all in one location!

February 1st – 13th at the Airport campus of Midlands Technical College

Two-week conference will explore the challenges of the mentally ill, address how to reduce stigma around mental illness, and promote the mental health of the community.
Interdisciplinary seminars and training will be offered throughout the conference to engage students, faculty, and the community.
The signature event of the conference is Fine Line: Mental Health/Mental Illness – a documentary of voices, stories, and portraits by award-winning photo-journalist Michael Nye.
Facebook event for Get Psyched

֍֍ Happy New Year! ֍֍

1/1/2019Happy New Year 2019 banner

Happy New Year to all Work In Progress family and friends!

2019 is a new chapter in the book of life.  Its pages are blank and ready for new adventures, growth and opportunities. 

As you begin to fill those pages, discard all the negative thoughts, habit and toxic things that bring you discouragement, disappointment and disheartenment.  

Fill these days, hours and minutes with..

Family who loves me unconditionally.

Friends who understand me and accept me as I am.

Honest work that has value.

A mind unafraid to explore.

A heart full of compassion.

A playful attitude.

Time and silence to rebuild my spirit.

Patience to outlast the trials.

Wisdom to recognize happiness and contentedness.


May your 2019 New Year be blessed with a new adventure and happiness everyday.




Wear Your Pearls TOMORROW!


December 15th is Wear Your Pearls Day! 

¤¤National Wear Your Pearls Day is a national depression and anxiety awareness campaign. ¤¤

Show us your pearl to help raise awareness! 

uscUniversity of South Carolina School of Medicine Rehabilitation Counseling Program & Vocational Rehabilitation


Demetrius Henderson at South Carolina Department of Mental Health

AAA pearls


Staff Members at Work In Progress



Why are the Holidays SO Stressful??


Today is THE day!! Midlands Gives!


Save the Date Stacked with Date

Today is the day, in the heart of the holiday season, a day set aside to allow each of us to be a part of making a difference in the lives of others.

So what difference can you really make?  Your financial gift can help someone who has a mental illness feel valued, accepted, proud to go to work, and be able to overcome the barriers created by having a mental illness. The desire to become employed empowers individuals to succeed in their recovery and personal goals.

Your donations assist us in Changing People’s Lives through employment. We invite all of you to join us in donating to Work In Progress. Work In Progress is a  501 c 3 Organization therefore, your donations will  serve those who need help the most.

 We appreciate your desire to help.

Click on the donate button to make a secure online donation.

Or you can mail a check to our mailing address: 

1111 Belleview St.  Suite 101 Columbia SC 29201 

803- 758-0066

We thank you for your kind and generous support.

Please share this request with others who would understand the barriers of having a mental illness and the restoration of hope achieved through employment !

Thank you for your donation!

Click to Donate



This holiday season – Shop through Amazon Smiles to create jobs through Work In Progress.


Work In Progress is a member of AmazonSmile -a simple and automatic way for you to support your favorite charitable organization every time you shop, at no cost to you.

Share this link: and tell your family, employees, and friends that  Amazon will give a portion of their purchase  to benefit the individuals served through Work In Progress Inc.

Thank you – we hope you have a safe and happy holiday season.

Cyber Monday & Amazon Smile


You can Change People’s Lives


Its Cyber Monday!   Shop through Amazon Smiles Program

Share this link: and tell your family, employees, and friends that  Amazon will give a portion of the Amazon purchase to benefit the individuals served through Work In Progress Inc. You can Change the Lives of People with a mental illness by providing employment supports while you do your regular and holiday shopping on  Amazon.

Work  In Progress is a member of Amazon Smile – a simple and automatic way for you to support your favorite charitable organization every time you shop, at no cost to you.

Thank you – we hope you have a safe and happy holiday season.


Hey! Happy Thanksgiving To YOU!!




A Big round of applause and a Thank You on this upcoming Thanksgiving!

Because of you, we have helped numerous individuals to reach their goals of employment, independence and supporting their families.

Please continue to uplift everyone in your circle and their family and friends who live with Mental Illness everyday.

Please consider donating on #GivingTuesday online!  Its safe and secure!

You can even MAIL your donations to us directly at:

1111 Belleview St. Suite 101, Columbia, SC 29201

What we use our donations for:

Bus Tickets, Personal Care Products, Gift Certificates for work clothes and shoes, Gas cards to help people get to interviews, Gift Certificates for restaurants to get lunch while on a new job and office supplies.

Please consider giving on #GivingTuesday to help us continue the mission!


Save the Date Stacked with Date

Hunger and Homelessness Awareness



Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week:

The connection between homelessness and mental illness


In light of National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, we want to start a larger conversation about homelessness, its causes and how we can start to solve this growing problem. Homelessness can be caused by a number of factors including unemployment, a lack of affordable housing and mental illness. 
When people talk about homelessness, there tends to be a stigma associated with it.  While there are many different reasons for an individual to become homeless, one of the leading causes can be explained by mental illness. According to the Annual Homeless Assessment Report of 2017, an estimated 553,742 people experienced homelessness on a single night, and conservative estimates say that 25% of homeless individuals are suffering from serious mental illness.
The 2017 Census report estimates that on any given night in 2017, 3,916 individuals experienced homelessness in South Carolina. This statistic coupled with the fact that nearly 636,000 South Carolinian adults are struggling with a mental illness displays not only the need for homelessness prevention, but also more attention those suffering from a mental illness.
In order to begin to solve these growing problems, adults suffering from mental illness need support and encouragement from their communities. Helping those diagnosed with a mental illness find support and resources to grow is an essential part in preventing homelessness. We can combat the problem of homelessness in a number of ways including:
·      Housing – providing a safe and secure place to live
·      Services – health services, employment and education and other support
·      Connection – meaningful social connections to create a sense of community
·      Prevention – understanding who is at risk, and how to help
Aside from housing and health services, employment is an essential part of solving the issue of homelessness. A job provides income, social connection, a sense of purpose and much more. The ability to support oneself and feel a sense of purpose can oftentimes only be obtained through employment. A job gives you a place to go, a way to define yourself and connection to your community.
At Work In Progress, we play a role in this step of problem solving by giving individuals with a mental illness diagnosis the skills and means to obtain and retain employment. We offer job development training and coaching, interview skills, and ongoing support to individuals referred to our services.

National Wear Your Pearls Day

Oyster and pearls

11/15/2018        Wear Your Pearls Day!

This day is a day of encouragement and inspiration.

The beautiful result of nature’s design, one irritating grain of sand can cause an iridescent pearl to form.  National Wear Your Pearls Day on December 15 reminds us that when life throws dirt our way, we all have value in the end.

Best-selling author and motivational speaker, DeAnna Bookert, founded National Wear Your Pearls Day because pearls represented the story of her life and how she struggled with depression.  “I wear pearls as a reminder that I have purpose and value.”

After privately battling anxiety and depression for almost 2 years DeAnna now encourages women to get help and not struggle with depression in secret.






Burger Tavern 77 & Work In Progress Unite!

It’s happening today! Head on down to your local
Burger Tavern 77 (2631 Devine Street) at 11:00am to support Work In Progress!

The restaurant is donating 15% of your meal/drink!
Don’t forget to tell the staff that you’re with Work In Progress!

If you are sharing photos/videos (by all means you should),
make sure to use #groupraise and tag Burger Tavern 77 and #WIPColumbia

burger77flier w-logo

3rd Annual Breaking Barriers Employment and Resource Fair 2018


Tuesday October 23, 2018 at 9am until 12pm at Richland Library Main, 1431 Assembly Street Columbia SC

We enjoyed our time participating in Breaking Barriers Employment and Resource Fair.
We truly hope that the residents of the midlands who are unemployed, under-employed, homeless, those with criminal back grounds, hard to serve veterans, and young adults found the opportunities, career training, and resources for economic advancement.



UofSC Mental Health Carnival


It was a great day for meeting and greeting the students and staff at the University of South Carolina Mental Health Carnival.

Many came out and visited the vendors and much information was passed along regarding all the wonderful resources from not only USC but other awareness agencies such as Work In Progress!