Open House to Celebrate, Rededicate ‘Camp Wellness’

Nationally recognized program of the University of Arizona Department of Family and Community Medicine helps adults with serious mental illness develop healthy lifestyle choices.

WEDNESDAY, AUG. 12, 2015, 3:30 - 5 P.M.

UA RISE Health and Wellness Center, 1030 N. Alvernon Way, Tucson

The University of Arizona Department of Family and Community Medicine invites media to cover a celebration and rededication of Camp Wellness, a nationally recognized day program that teaches adults with serious mental illness how to make healthy lifestyle choices.

The open house will be held Wednesday, Aug. 12, from 3:30 to 5 p.m., at the UA RISE Health and Wellness Center, home to Camp Wellness, at 1030 N. Alvernon Way, just south of Speedway Blvd., in Tucson.

Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild will speak at the open house, as will Terry Stevens, CEO of Cenpatico Arizona, which last December won the state’s three-year contract to administer behavioral health-care services throughout Southern Arizona, including Pima County, beginning Oct. 1. Wednesday’s open house will celebrate and rededicate Camp Wellness as an important component of Cenpatico’s services.

The UA Department of Family and Community Medicine started Camp Wellness in 2009 in response to the fact that adults with serious mental illness (SMI) have a shorter life expectancy than other adults – 25 fewer years on average, nationally. People with SMI are more likely to suffer from chronic medical conditions, including obesity, heart disease and diabetes.

In 2012, Pamela Hyde, JD, director of the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, visited Camp Wellness and talked with students about what they gain from the program. Later that year, at the 2012 conference of the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare, she hailed Camp Wellness as the nation’s most comprehensive wellness program for people with SMI.