By Carrie Vittitoe

Many of us think of heart health as being purely physical, but emotions also play a role. Depression and anxiety may put us at risk of damaging our hearts due to poor sleep, poor eating, lack of exercise, and isolation. Recovery Inc. of Kentucky, located in the Highlands, opened in 1952 and offers anonymous support groups for people who are struggling with their mental health.

Janice Kaelin serves as the director of Recovery Inc. and benefited from its service herself when she was a young mother dealing with postpartum depression in the 1970s. Recovery Inc. was so life changing for her as a young woman that she now donates all her time to the organization. “We teach people cognitive behavioral therapy [techniques],” she says. Professionals volunteer their time to lead support groups Tuesdays through Sundays, and while Janice says the program is simple, it is not easy. “It takes effort and concentration,” she says.

The support groups utilize the book, Peace of Mind, Peace of Body: Practical, Effective Techniques for Mental Fitness by Rose VanSickle and work to develop each attendee’s mental health toolkit. “You have to have skills that will teach you resilience,” Janice says. While some support group members take medication, others do not, but medication is not the focus. “It’s wisdom for living, and you don’t get wisdom from a pill,” she says.