Girls Inc. of the Valley to Partner with Wellness for the Culture

HOLYOKE — Girls Inc. of the Valley announces partnership with Wellness for the Culture (WFTC) that will put mental health support in place during summer programs.

Wellness for the Culture (WFTC) is a center that focuses its attention toward addressing the cultural stigma that hinders black and brown people from receiving treatment. Their mission is similar to that of Girls Inc. of the Valley, whereas they aim to motivate, uplift, and educate individuals through mental health services. 

Founder of WFTC, Whitney Dodds, will be leading a training for Girls Inc. of the Valley’s summer staff on creating safe spaces, relationship building and communication with youth, maintaining boundaries, handling conflict and difficult behaviors. The WFTC counselor will open office hours during Girls Inc. of the Valley’s Eureka program as an extra support for participants, as well as offer an anxiety and calming curriculum to elementary students in the Summer at the Bay/Project Runway summer camp.

“Wellness for the Culture brings important and needed expertise to our organization,” said Suzanne Parker, executive director at Girls Inc. of the Valley. “Whitney and her team will be leading training for our staff around creating safe spaces, naming and prioritizing lived experience, selfcare, and much more. Later this summer, they will also provide anxiety and calming workshops to youth in our programs. It has been incredible to have Wellness for the Culture onboard.”

“I am thrilled at this opportunity to partner with Girls Inc.! I have a passion for mentoring young girls,” said Whitney Dodds, LMHC and founder of Wellness for the Culture, LLC. “More importantly, there are so many things, people, spaces I needed as a young adult trying to navigate this world. My own personal goal as well as the mission of Wellness for the Culture is to be all the things we needed culturally and as a community. So this allows me the opportunity to collaborate with an already amazing program that’s making a significant impact, and to create more spaces of mental wellness.”

Wellness for the Culture’ approach is tailor-made to encourage engagement, within our community, all the while dismantling the cultural stigma that hinders black and brown people from receiving treatment. With ongoing issues of equity and racial justice in our society, Girls Inc. of the Valley alongside WFTC will provide impactful guidance in shaping and shifting the culture of educational and community spaces.