Mental health and wellness plays an enormous role in each person’s life—whether it’s coming of age, dealing with a traumatic event, rediscovering yourself after having children or coping with tough emotions. Recent studies report that one in five children in America will have or already have a serious mental illness, and nearly 60% of adults with a mental illness did not receive treatment in the previous year. Mental health advocates are becoming more vocal about stigmas attached to mental illness and stress the mind-body connection that puts mental and physical health hand-in-hand. Muirheid explains that “if your mental health is poor, then it’s likely that your physical health will suffer,” and vice versa.
Mindful Wellness is making waves in mental health treatment in Berwyn and its nearby communities. With over 15 years of combined experience in Berwyn, partners Jolene Altman, Suzanne Muirheid and Monica Umlauf saw a need for an accessible continuum of therapy that could add value to peoples’ lives. “There are a wide range of needs in this area, and being in our own solo practices, we didn’t feel like we were able to provide care in an efficient way,” says Muirheid. “This collaborative business has allowed us to step out of private practice and take a more active role in Berwyn,” adds Umlauf.
The partners opened their doors in May 2016, offering individual therapy services for all age groups, couples therapy and family therapy. Mindful Wellness focuses on developing treatment plans that serve each individual, including the identification of wrap around services for the family system when needed. The team is developing an integrated care referral network of practitioners that can help with whatever needs arise, including needs such as general health, acupuncture or nutrition. Muirheid, Altman, and Umlauf are open to a variety of care models, from Eastern practices to Western. The group is also unique in that they are one of the only practices in Berwyn to provide EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapy.
Mindful Wellness’s space is designed to make patients feel comfortable and safe by providing hot tea and take-home inspiration cards in the waiting area, as well as comfortable seating, calming artwork and soft lighting. The practice helps patients overcome obstacles that may be keeping them from coming in—such as costs and insurance policies—by providing customized payment options and sliding scales.
“Holistic care is becoming more prevalent, especially as insurance policies change,” says Muirheid. “How you treat yourself affects your community, we’re excited to make something bigger for everybody here,” says Umlauf. “We’re a women-run business and we take great pride in that,” says Altman.
“Walking in, I feel like I’ve been here already. It’s a great environment,” says BDC Board President Jousef Mondragon. “I can’t say enough about what Mindful Wellness is doing for our community to bring a valued service to lessen the stigma about mental illness. We welcome you to the neighborhood.”