In December of 2018, the YMCA of Metro North was awarded one of 13 grants awards from the Attorney General Maura Healey’s office as part of $3 million in funding under a new grant program focused on addressing the social determinants of health, including nutrition, safe housing, violence prevention, and substance use, all of which impact the health of individuals, families and communities.  The YMCA of Metro North’s request, in partnership with Lynn Community Health Center, will support individuals recovering from drug and alcohol addiction and their families using Yoga and wellness practices combined with a 12-step model that enhance recovery outcomes for participants. The program aims to create a model that can be duplicated at other YMCAs, making the potential reach for this pilot state-wide.

The grant supported program will be an expansion and continuation of a partnership piloted at the Torigian Family YMCA in Peabody in 2018 called Yoga for Those in Recovery.  Using yoga practice combined with a 12 step model, the goal of the pilot was to enhance recovery outcomes for participants as well as provide support for their families.  Over 20 individuals have participating in the pilot since its inception.  This partnership was inspired by and features the expertise of Certified Instructor Tara Briggs. Tara holds a 200-hour Teacher Training certification and is trained in the Yoga for 12 Step Recovery Technique. Yoga has helped Tara in her own journey of recovery and overall well-being. Her basic but powerful classes, inspired by Vinyasa, are geared to all fitness levels and abilities while being fun and challenging.

AG Healey’s Social Determinants Partnership program provided grants to promote health equity across Massachusetts to 13 partnerships made up of health care providers, social service organizations, and municipal government agencies. “As a state and as a country, we continue to spend most of our health care dollars treating people who are already sick, rather than investing to keep people healthy,” said AG Healey. “These grants will support new partnerships to improve nutrition, housing, and other social determinants to protect the health of every Massachusetts resident.”

Kathleen Walsh, President and CEO of the YMCA of Metro North notes, “the YMCA is proud to partner with the Attorney General’s office in supporting addiction recovery.   We look forward to growing our programs to serve those in recovery as well as their families in a safe and supportive environment.”