PAVING the Path to Wellness: Emergency Response Edition

Anxiety and isolation have been an unfortunate and widespread consequence of the global COVID-19 pandemic―a situation only compounded for those recovering from a complex medical condition. SameYou funded remote options for therapeutic human connection with Spaulding Rehabilitation Network and partnered to launch the PAVING the Path to Wellness: Emergency Response Edition to provide a safe and effective way for brain injury and stroke survivors to engage in positive therapeutic connection during this precarious time.

Based on a course offered regularly at Spaulding by lifestyle medicine specialist and wellness coach Beth Frates, M.D., this emergency edition offered three free six-week virtual sessions to individuals who had recently experienced a brain injury or stroke and required financial assistance to participate. More than 30 men and women from the U.S. and the U.K. enrolled in the special pilot program, which focused on ways to make positive and long-lasting lifestyle changes―in areas like diet, sleep, and exercise―to support successful recovery. Perhaps most importantly, the Zoom-based course emphasised the power of interpersonal connections, allowing participants to discuss sensitive issues and share successful strategies in an open and non-judgmental environment. 

“It was clear from the onset that we were reaching and connecting people out there who were very isolated and hurting during this time,” says Dr. Frates. “There were lots of tears, certainly some from distress and sorrow but many more from the joy and liberation at finally being heard, valued, and understood.” 

Patients who took part in the programme told us:

  • My favourite part of the course was the balance of dealing with stress but also the personal input―having the personal experience that is shared is helpful
  • …the cross section of meeting people from different countries…pouring myself into these relationships…the essence of the person you can still see
  • Meditation was the most helpful to learn
  • I was able to share it with my daughter and was able to work on the relationships that were affected, and I was able to turn things around
  • Thank you SameYou for funding the six-week program. Not only was it helpful to my ongoing recovery, the timing during the pandemic helped me stay social and connected with like-minded individuals
  • You have given me hope and ideas to help with recovery from my brain injury. It’s been so important. It has been so good to meet others who have brain injury. It’s been so helpful for a medic who understands to be involved in the group
  • Same you, thank you for making possible for me to be part of this group. It has helped me more than I ever thought it would. I have been really isolated since my accident this is the most comfortable social that I have been in a long time. Beth broke things down in a way I can I understand to help me try to put my life back together and with the added stress and confusion for COVID it was the most valuable 2 hours of my week. I am very grateful to you and Spaulding

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