Project Healing Hive is a multi-pronged organization based in Phoenixville, PA that creates and offers a wide breadth of community holistic mental health and wellness programming. Their overall mission is to improve mental healthcare by advancing an agenda for evidence-based uses of CAM (complementary and alternative medicine). This means not just providing programming, but also supporting research, education, and community training. It’s all about a holistic approach to mental health, and providing community support in as many facets as possible. 

“Mental health care remains one of the most vexing problems facing the healthcare system in the United States,” says PHH Founder Kristen Morris-Yehiel. Providing access to free mental health counseling is a big part of what PHH does, that has far-reaching effects. “Research has shown that for individuals with Medical Assistance or without insurance at all forgo their mental health needs because the out-of-pocket cost is not available or even reasonable,” she says. This leads not only to a dearth of access to programs for this population, but creates a vicious cycle that affects several areas of social wellbeing. 

“People living with mental illness are more likely to encounter the criminal justice system, resulting in a large number of arrests and incarcerations,” says Kristen. This isn’t just a moral issue — in 2015, the overall annual cost of incarcerating people with serious mental illness in state prisons in Pennsylvania exceeded $140 million. 

“People experiencing serious psychological distress are also more likely to abuse or be dependent on alcohol or illicit drugs. By serving these populations we are creating a system that provides the chance at long-term recovery and reacclimation back into the community,” she says. 

This is a lofty goal, particularly when coupled with the other programming that PHH provides — and it’s not just programming. PHH also partners with Bee Eternal Enterprise to conduct research into mental health treatments and alternative therapies. This is part of the long game that PHH plays. It allows them to “create quantitative data that can be presented to our policy makers to create legislation that will allow medical assistance and private insurance companies to cover CAM for their insured,” says Kristen. 

Another aspect of the work that PHH does is community training — the integration of trauma-informed wellness and mindfulness programs that can complement more traditional approaches to mental health services. It’s part of what makes their offerings holistic; a way to integrate healing for the whole body and mind, rather than addressing issues piecemeal. PHH partners with Yoga Terapeutica to provide trauma-informed yoga and mindfulness trainings that Kristen says are essential. 

“The more individuals trained with a trauma-informed foundation in holistic therapies the more awareness and information they have to provide a comprehensive and individual approach when teaching whether it’s in the general community or a specific population,” she says. We cannot begin to work with populations experiencing mental health issues until we learn the language and sensitive methods to facilitate a meaningful approach. 

PHH is just one of the organizations that TYP has supported through this most recent round of financial donation. PHH plans to use this support to bolster its Bridge Program, which serves adolescents and teens that are experiencing non-crisis mental health challenges or with parents or guardians in addiction recovery. 

“The Bridge Program is a way to “bridge” the gap between standard model CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) and CAM (complementary and alternative medicine),” says Kristen. This helps families and guardians discuss a “range of no-pharmacological modalities used in mental health care providing options for treatment with community programs and resources for aftercare.”

TYP is proud to support the work of important organizations like PHH, and congratulates their dedicated team for the incredible work they do in our community. To learn more about our donation program, click here.