Wellness Committee donates hygiene kits to local youths

Priya Gearin, MD; Shalina Bivens, and Donnie Roman collected hygienic items for local youths.

On March 27, 2024, the Department of Psychiatry Wellness Committee purchased hygiene items for children and adolescents at the Youth Emergency Services (YES), placed them into bags, and delivered more the kits to the center.

YES provides housing and support to local youths experiencing instability, crisis, or homelessness. YES’s mission is to envision a community where youth homelessness is unacceptable, and youth in crisis can live self-sufficient lives.

“We reached our goal of $300 and assembled 30 hygiene kits for the YES House,” said Priya Gearin, MD. “We donated leftover supplies to our department’s free hygiene supply for our patients.  We also collected two full boxes of food for Heart Ministries for the Nebraska Medicine initiative to support March Nutrition Month.”

The hygiene kits include necessary items such as toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, combs, razors, and mouthwash.

“I picked the YES House for our department to volunteer for because their agency serves homeless teens and young adults, and I try to have some of our volunteer efforts contribute to community agencies that our various patient populations may need to use for assistance,” said Celeste Akers, Behavioral Health Connections lead and Wellness Committee member. 

On March 27, Donnie Roman and Shalina Bivens also took time out of their busy days to purchase the items, bag them and deliver them to YES.

Dr. Gearin, who accepted the role of co-chair of the Wellness Committee last fall, said the items are very much needed, so she was happy to help.

The Department of Psychiatry Wellness Committee continues to sponsor events to relieve stress and reduce burnout for department employees through promoting healthy living, fostering fellowship, and engaging in community volunteer efforts.

In the past 12 months, the committee has helped organize mid-day walks around campus, night hikes, lunchtime yoga, teams for fundraisers, improv classes, writing workshops, and many other relaxing activities. The committee meets every other month via Zoom to talk about new ways to enhance colleagues’ work-life balance and improve wellness.

To join the Wellness Committee, contact Dr. Gearin or Sarah Fischer, PhD.

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