Dr. Audrey Hager, visiting assistant professor of psychology, is the director of the Mindful Wellness community program, which aims to provide mindfulness-based meditation practices to vulnerable populations in Cattaraugus County.
The program is hosted by the Olean Meditation Center with the aid of Richard Reilly, Ph.D., emeritus professor of philosophy at SBU and center director.
Modeled after the mindfulness-based stress reduction program developed by the University of Massachusetts Medical School, the Mindful Wellness program series will provide evidence-based techniques that promote emotional balance and stress reduction,
increasing one’s mindfulness.
Mindfulness is a mental state characterized by nonjudgmental awareness of the present moment, including one’s sensations, thoughts, bodily states and the environment, while encouraging openness, curiosity and acceptance.
The program is being offered to three nonprofit community organizations that serve vulnerable populations: the Council on Addiction Recovery Services, Inc. (CAReS), Connecting Communities in Action (CCA) and Directions in Independent Living, Inc.
Each will recruit participants who will meet for two hours each week for eight weeks to practice techniques to promote mindfulness.
The program is made possible by a $1,075 grant from the Cattaraugus Regional Community Foundation. In addition to Hager and Reilly, program facilitators include Max Jensen, Ph.D., and Celine Daly, M.D., MPH.
More information about the program can be obtained by contacting Hager or the Olean Meditation Center at https://oleanmeditation.org.