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Grants in Action: Norway Savings Bank Supports Wellness at Bigelow

By July 25, 2022Blog

Spurwink launches Bigelow Program, providing much-needed residential treatment for adults with mental health needs and substance use disorder

Individuals with serious mental illness die on average 25 years before persons in the general population, largely because of preventable medical conditions, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Modifiable risk factors, including high rates of smoking, poor dietary habits, obesity, and a sedentary lifestyle, cause and aggravate the physical health needs of adults with serious mental illness. For clients with co-occurring substance use disorder, the risks increase, and there are few integrated wellness treatment models in Maine available to meet treatment needs.

To help address the needs of this growing population, Spurwink recently opened the Bigelow Program, an Adult Residential Treatment program providing integrated treatment to adults 18+ with co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders. This unique program supports adults in their recovery so that they can successfully return to independent living in the community.

Bigelow incorporates evidence-based treatment approaches tailored to the needs of clients, including individual, group, and family therapy, self-help models, and smoking cessation and wellness activities. Clients are educated about their diagnoses and learn skills and coping techniques to manage and reduce symptoms, enabling them to complete the program with a firm base of sobriety, stability, permanent housing, a source of income, strong natural supports, improved self-awareness, and coping skills.

A primary objective and major challenge at Bigelow is to improve general health outcomes for our residents, so we place a great deal of focus on holistic health, wellness, and a robust nutrition program. Thanks to the support of Norway Savings Bank, Bigelow has professional fitness equipment onsite, gender neutral weight equipment, and yoga mats and accessories.

“Encouraging wellness is a major focus at Norway Savings Bank,” said Dan Walsh, President and CEO of Norway Savings Bank. “We recognize that physical fitness and good nutrition benefit people in all kinds of ways, so we wanted to help make it a reality at Spurwink.”

Programming integrates wellness activities such as yoga, tai chi, and chi gung with basic life coping skills such as meditation and distress tolerance. Our goal is to help our clients learn to cope with distress and past traumas by having an array of low-cost activities and resources that they can utilize and build into their daily practice of recovery, improving and extending the lives of our clients independently in the community.

For more information on the Bigelow Program, please contact Darlene Panzino (, or to support the program please contact Emily Silevinac, Director of Annual Giving (

Pictured from left to right: Eric Meyer, Spurwink President & CEO; Dan Walsh, Norway Savings Bank President & CEO; Darlene Panzino, Spurwink Senior Program Director of Adult PNMI Services; Richard Flagg, Norway Savings Bank Senior Vice President, Senior Commercial Banking Officer