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Introducing WellStrong: A nonprofit organization focused on helping recovering addicts get stronger physically and emotionally in order to stay well and engaged in satisfying and productive lives.

WellStrong looks like a typical gym, but that’s really just a small part of it. WellStrong is a far-reaching fitness and wellness community for people in recovery from substance use disorder. This organization offers a safe, supportive, sober environment that allows people in all stages of recovery to participate in activities that have been shown to reduce relapse rates.

At the WellStrong Studio and sponsored events, those in long-term recovery offer hope and inspiration to those in early recovery. Members are able to connect in an unstructured, activity-based environment as they strength-train, work out, and participate in fitness classes, yoga classes, meditation, support groups, hiking expeditions, races, or group running training.

Last November, after two years in development, WellStrong quietly opened the doors of its Falmouth studio and began welcoming members. Since then, more than 120 members have enrolled and an additional 130 people attend classes and support groups on a weekly basis. The enthusiasm and engagement of the recovery community has far exceeded WellStrong’s most hopeful expectations.

Recognizing that the disease of addiction typically creates financial hardship, WellStrong keeps all programs open to anyone committed to recovery, regardless of their ability to pay. The first three months of membership are free; after that, if feasible, members can choose to give a $10 monthly donation or volunteer in the studio. Free membership is extended as needed. The only requirement for membership is 48 hours in recovery.

Founder Amy Doherty was inspired to create WellStrong by seeing wellness-based recovery work in the lives of her own family members. She developed WellStrong with an evidence-based recognition that recovery is more than traditional 12-step meetings and inpatient treatment. “Although these components can be key,” Amy states, “recovery is so much more than that. Recovery is a lifestyle. The gym is an easy, comfortable, unintimidating step to living a full, healthy life. Sometimes, people in early recovery just aren’t ready for the traditional 12-step meeting commitment.”

WellStrong classes are taught by volunteers, many of whom are in recovery themselves, and are certified or licensed in their respective fitness and wellness fields. WellStrong’s studio manager and certified strength trainer, Christa McCutcheon, is a recovery success story of her own and attributes her wellness to the opportunities WellStrong makes available. Christa explains, “Staying active and healthy keeps me feeling motivated, positive and accomplished. Exercise, yoga and meditation are a way for me to channel all my energy into a calm and positive direction. It’s one of the most beneficial forms of therapy in my recovery.”

The WellStrong Studio is at 6 Alphonse Street, Falmouth. Learn more about WellStrong and view the class schedule at www.wellstrong.org. Contact WellStrong at 508-444-2219 or by sending an e-mail to info@wellstrong.org.

To sponsor a WellStrong membership, visit www.wellstrong.org/sponsor-a-member.

WellStrong is part of the Mashpee Drop-In Night; visit our next Drop-In Night on Tuesday, June 5, from 4 to 7 PM at our new location, the Mashpee Public Library event room.

Additional Resource

The Massachusetts Substance Abuse Helpline can be reached at 800-327-5050 or by visiting www.helpline-online.com.

Marianne McEvoy does communications and media relations for WellStrong.

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