James Weldon Johnson counseling center is the mental health and wellness clinic of Union Settlement located at the Thomas Jefferson Housing (part of New York City Housing Administration, what is referred to as "the projects"). Our team is formed of psychiatrists, psychotherapist, care management, and administrative staff who serve children, adolescents, adults, and older persons living in East Harlem and surrounding neighborhoods.
The mission of a settlement house is to help provide services to those within the communities they serve. Therapy offices are set up within previous apartments of NYCHA facilities to increase accessibility for our clients. The facilities come with challenges that our consumers often face, such as tight spaces, lack of windows, or run down walls. Staff members are devoted to the work and helping marginalized communities, often re-decorating each space out of pocket.
The Gratitude Project would allow our clinic to provide a space where staff members feel appreciated and valued. When providing a space that employees look forward to returning to each day, the gratitude would subsequently provide benefits for the clients, many whom are survivors of trauma and experience anxiety or depression. Studies show that improved interior design contributes to wellness and decreased stress in healthcare environments: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Roger_Ulrich4/publication/13173950_Effects_of_interior_design_on_wellness_Theory_and_recent_scientific_research/links/5633462708ae5848780aafde/Effects-of-interior-design-on-wellness-Theory-and-recent-scientific-research.pdf