HCN News & Notes

Baystate Franklin Medical Center to Present Stress-management Program

GREENFIELD — Stress affects more than just mental health; an estimated 75% to 90% of all doctor visits are for stress-related issues. Stress is also a factor in five out of the six leading causes of death — heart disease, cancer, stroke, lower respiratory disease, and accidents. 

Developed by the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, the Stress Management and Resiliency Training (SMART) program helps participants achieve greater quality of life and an enhanced sense of well-being. The program teaches self-care practices that help buffer daily stress, making participants less emotionally and physically vulnerable to it. Baystate Franklin Medical Center will offer this course again, beginning Tuesday, July 23. 

“SMART introduced me to exercises and imagery that improved my mind/body connection through mindfulness activities and the use of stress-management tactics,” said participant Amanda Percival.

Program facilitator Cheryl Pascucci noted that “the purpose of this program is to help participants develop self-care tools to manage stress. The ultimate goal is to enhance the quality of life and reduce any medical symptoms that participants may have as a result of stress.”

Pascucci is a SMART-certified healthcare practitioner. She was trained at Mass General’s Benson Henry Institute as a facilitator in 2014 and is looking forward to sharing her expertise with the community.

“I have seen the positive effects that this program has, and I can speak from experience when I say that having the tools to manage difficult emotions can unlock the potential to live a healthy, fulfilling life,” she said.

Topics include techniques to improve eating, sleeping, and physical activity, as well as how to recognize individual responses to stress and how to change though patterns.

SMART is an eight-week program that will be held at 48 Sanderson St., Greenfield on Tuesday afternoons from 2 to 4 p.m. The cost is $150, which includes a workbook. Pre-registration is required. For more information or to register, visit smartbfmc.eventbrite.com or call Pascucci at (413) 773-2741.