Arukah Institute of Healing
The mission of the Arukah Institute of Healing, Inc. is bringing accessible and relational holistic mental health care to rural communities.
The Arukah Institute is a 501(c)(3) holistic mental health center that was started in 2017 to combat the high rates of suicide, self-harm, drug overdose, and generalized anxiety and depression facing rural communities, which are federally underserved areas for mental health. Arukah’s primary mission is to bring accessible, relational, holistic mental health
care to rural communities. Services are group-based, which enables the building of community (relational) and keeping costs low (accessible). Services address the whole person (holistic) and their families in order to help foster an overall improved sense of “self” and to address societal factors critical in one’s healing process. We offer services to both
adults and children and services have three functions: Prevention, Restoration, and Research/Validation.
The goal of Arukah’s Suicide Prevention Program is to eradicate youth suicide in our community. This is done through multiple means, including novel video-based programming in schools and teen support groups. Intended outcomes of this program are (i.) implementing intensive suicide prevention programming into every junior and senior high school in the area; (ii.) increasing the number of teenagers that reach out for help from a trusted adult regarding mental illness; (iii.) reducing the stigma of mental illness among teenagers; (iv.) decreasing the number of teenage cases of self-harm; (v.) enhancing the social-emotional health of teens; and (vi.) empowering teens with the knowledge and skills to offer peer-peer support. We have served over 2,800 teenagers with our suicide prevention programming in 2017.
The goal of Arukah’s Restoration Program is to socially-emotionally restore individuals that are suffering from psychological pain. This is done at Arukah by engaging clients in relational activities (i.e., meditation/yoga, restorative support groups), and journeying with them as their close community over the long-term. Quantifiable outcomes include (i.) reducing negative/destructive thought patterns; (ii.) strengthening one’s view of “self”; (iii.) improving meaningful participation in society; and (iv.) maintaining engagement of clients for a minimum of 2 years (a pre-defined time designated as requisite for sustainable, social-emotional change). We served over 1,400 individuals in 2017 in our
The goal of Arukah’s Research/Validation Program is to quantifiably measure the social-emotional restoration of individuals using innovative and data-intensive strategies. Currently, we are employing traditional data collection methods, but we are actively developing a novel, mobile mental health app, appREstore, that tracks eight different client data types and integrates them into a user friendly graphic from the convenient platform of their mobile smart phone. This empowers clients to be able to literally “watch their numbers change” over time, producing ownership and positive
reinforcement. Outcomes benchmarking the success of this program include (i.) employing meaningful, quantifiable data collection strategies at regular intervals (semester-based); (ii.) engaging clients biannually to discuss their numbers, goals and progress with them (they are both contributors and consumers of their own data); (iii.) annual refinement of programs and services to keep on point with population needs and mission; (iv.) development of appREstore through all phases (coding/development, alpha/beta testing, launch, evolution/maintenance).
Arukah’s overall vision and long-term goal is restored hope and purpose in communities. We believe that communities with residents that are socially-emotionally-psychologically restored or “healed” from the pain of their past or present live with greater hope and purpose, and importantly, this is transmitted to future generations for sustainable outcomes. This is our desire for the Illinois Valley and for every rural community that Arukah takes under its wing in the future.
Why we deserve the makeover
In the past year and a half of offering services, Arukah has done very much with very little. We have impacted over 2,800 teenagers and 2,500 adults to date, and we have done so by operating with borrowed or bare minimum technological devices and infrastructure. Our staff uses personal laptops that are in dire need of updating in order to be able to effectively use various software packages required for e.g., graphics, video editing, data sharing, and general tasks such as slide presentations and word processing. We are developing a mobile app to measure how our clients are responding to our services, but we will need cloud-based computing and other HIPPA-compliant network services in order to make the most of this technology. Furthermore, our executive director currently performs all of the website development and maintenance; having IT support would liberate more of her time to spend on pressing administrative tasks. In summary, we are at a critical time in our organization’s growth, where a technology makeover would be a significant catalyst that would help our programs run more efficiently and effectively, propelling us into the next phase of impacting rural communities in central Illinois.