MENTOR: Mindfulness, Exercise, Nutrition TOptimize Resilience for Adults

Title slide for Dr. Jim Rimmer's talk on MENTOR -- a health and wellness program for people with a disability

Click here to listen to Dr. Rimmer’s 10 minute overview of the MENTOR program.

Program Overview: The CP Research Network partnered with the National Center for Health, Physical Activity and Disability (NCHPAD) to offer a free mindfulness, exercise and nutrition program called MENTOR.  The program is an 8 week, 40 hour program to develop knowledge, improved health and sustainable skills. It is a new program and was originally designed as an in person, on site program at one of several rehabilitation centers. The CP Research Network worked with NCHPAD to tailor the fit for this program to the unique aspects of the CP community in 2021. It has been designed for people with disabilities but not specifically for people with CP. We expect to make adaptions to the program. It is intended to be interactive and dynamically adapted for the participants.

Program Start: Every month.Sign Up: Join MyCP and check the box for interest in MENTOR or send questions to Existing MyCP members can go to their profile to indicate interest in participating.

Timeframe: Eight (8) weeks

Weekly time commitment: Five (5) hours, one hour per day

Breakdown: Two (2) hours exercise, one (1) hour nutrition, one (1) mindfulness, one (1) health coaching (usually Fridays).

Format: Group classes – Five (5) to six (6) people, fixed weekly schedule to be planned between 9 am – 5 pm CT, some one-on-one coaching as needed. First week is an introduction to program and each hour session that week sets the context for the eight (8) week training.

I wanted to say thank you for facilitating the opportunity to join the MENTOR program. It’s been a fantastic 8 weeks and I have gained so much valuable information that I otherwise would have had a difficult time accessing (or even knowing where to start looking for help). I’m much better equipped to maintain my health now, and push through what life throws my way with the newly acquired experience and knowledge…
Nicole L. – MENTOR pilot participant

Frequently Asked Questions

Does it matter where I live?

Yes!  You must live in the U.S. to participate in this program.  It is paid for by U.S. tax payers and cannot be offered to people outside of the U.S.

When and how often do classes meet?
The classes are scheduled five days a week during the day for one hour each day. The time is the same each day on a given course topic, e.g., nutrition or exercise, but the standing times for those classes may vary. The course goes for eight weeks and new classes generally start during the first week of each month.

Are there only people with CP in the classes?

No, the classes will have people with a variety of causes of disability.

Do I need my own exercise equipment? Is any exercise equipment required?

No. MENTOR actually provides you with some basic exercise equipment that you get to keep at the end of the course! It will be shipped to your home/apartment after you start the course.

What does it cost to participate in MENTOR?
Nothing, MENTOR is free of charge.

What do I need to participate in MENTOR?
You need an internet connection and a device such as a laptop, phone, or iPad so that you can see and communicate with instructors. Any helpful items you may need for classes (such as fitness equipment) will be mailed to you free of charge.

Do I have to attend every class?
It is encouraged that you attend all the classes to get the most benefit from the program. However, if you do need to miss a class for any reason, please notify your instructor so they know not to expect you for that lesson.

How much time will I need for the program on a daily basis?
You need one hour. MENTOR runs five days per week for eight weeks. The class time schedules will be consistent throughout the program.

Where will the classes take place?
All MENTOR classes will take place via Zoom meeting.

How will I keep track of classes?
The GetHealthie portal is your gateway to MENTOR. Inside Healthie, you will find links to classes, informational leaflets from lessons, and options to engage with your instructors and fellow participants.

Can I have one-on-one instruction alongside group classes?
Absolutely! In addition to participating in the group classes, if you want a more tailored approach or wish to address an issue privately, contact your instructor for options.

Can I ask questions of the instructors?
Yes! We encourage you to ask questions so that you can get the most knowledge from the program. Please feel free to ask questions during Zoom classes (you can use the chat feature if you like) or contact instructors through the Healthie portal.

Can exercises be modified?
Yes, the exercises in MENTOR have been adapted for individuals with disabilities. However, if you need a different adaptation, ask your instructor and they will be happy to find a modification that works for you. Please only do what feels safe and comfortable for your body.

Do I need to have experience with cooking?
No, you do not need to be an experienced cook. Lessons cover cooking demonstrations, adaptive kitchen equipment, and nutrition. The final nutrition class encourages participants to present a healthy recipe for a class book, but this is not mandatory.