Minority Mental Health Month: Mood & Movement

LISTEN IN as TWI therapists Shelly Wood, Alyson Stewart and Juanika Howard kick off July as Minority Mental Health Awareness Month with a chat about how physical activity can help us boost our mental health.

Yoga for People of Color at Common Ground Healing Arts offers a nurturing space for movement. Beginners are welcome.

Yoga for People of Color at Common Ground Healing Arts offers a nurturing space for movement. Beginners are welcome.

As Stewart says, “movement” doesn’t have to be all about “exercise.” “Anxiety and depression can feel paralyzing and lead us into the misconception that we aren’t allowed to move, whether to change rooms, or literal bodily position because what we are experiencing feels so convincingly restricting that we limit our physical options,” Stewart says. “Challenge yourself: What does your space allow for, whether at home or in an office. Can you stand, can you move? Honor each part of your body with an expression of gratitude through movement, while acknowledging pain, stiffness, or tender spots that need our attention.”

Join Sister Circle all month long for special programs in July for women of color to support one another in using physical activity to boost mood, including…

  • Stress management workshops

  • C’Ville Walks With Heart

  • Yoga for People of Color

  • Zumba

New healing offerings start this fall

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Find your path to healing this fall through one of our many new and ongoing groups and offerings.

We are pleased to offer a host of free groups including …

Call (434) 872-0047 or email info@thewomensinitiative.org for more information and to register.

July is Minority Mental Health Month

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In honor of Minority Mental Health Month, join our Sister Circle Program for special healing and self-care offerings for women of color. Registration is required (except where noted). To register, call (434) 872-0047 x105 or email swood@thewomensinitiative.org.

  • Stress Reduction Lunch Hours, Friday, July 13 and Friday, July 27, 12-1 p.m., Sentara Starr Hill Health Center at the Jefferson School. Free.
  • Yoga for Women of Color, Sunday, July 15, 2-3:15 pm. Gather and practice yoga in a safe and nurturing setting. Class includes postures accessible to all levels as well as time for exploring ways to use breath and meditation for wellbeing. Women are invited to stay after class to connect with other participants, share yoga resources and build community. Each class is offered on a donation basis; no one will be turned away for inability to pay. No pre-registration is necessary.
  • Spa Retreat, Saturday, July 21, 2-3:30 pm, The Women's Initiative Main Office. Facials and/or pedicures from a Mary Kay consultant. Massages by Common Ground Healing Arts. Free.
  • Sound Bath with Shawna Bass, Monday, July 23, 12:30-2 pm., The Women's Initiative Main Office. Come be bathed in healing sound waves that will help to bring you to a deep meditative state. Sound baths can be one of the most deeply healing and restorative ways to attain a deep state of relaxation. Our body and minds respond positively to the sound vibrations and resonance allowing us to release of stress, healthily lower blood pressure as well as heal at a deep molecular and emotional level. Pay what you can; no one will be turned away for inability to pay. 

Visit our Sister Circle page to learn more.

Welcome new therapists!

We are thrilled to welcome three therapists to our Clinical Team!

Monica Garfias, LPC, NCC

Monica Garfias, LPC, NCC

Aislinn Groves, LCSW

Aislinn Groves, LCSW

Alyson Stewart, MFT

Alyson Stewart, MFT

  • Monica Garfias, LPC, NCC
  • Aislinn Groves, LCSW
  • Alyson Stewart, MFT

Monica is a Bilingual Therapist working with our Bienestar program to provide counseling, social support and education for Latina women in our community. She is passionate about treating women who have experienced trauma.

Aislinn is a Part-Time Mental Health Therapist who will be working with clients two days a week in individual counseling and walk-in clinic. A Charlottesville native, Aislinn views therapy as a collaborative process, supporting each client in accessing their innate capacities for understanding and growth.

Alyson is the Sister Circle Mental Health Therapist, working with our Sister Circle program to provide mental health and wellness programming for Black women and women of color. Alyson will be co-facilitating the weekly Sister Circle support group as well as seeing clients in individual counseling and walk-in clinic at our main office. Alyson describes a client’s process as the overcomer’s journey, where the path on the road to progress can be a bumpy one, but it leads to resiliency, resourcefulness and perseverance.

Read more about our whole team here.