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Baystate Franklin to Launch Pilot Program for Stress Management

GREENFIELD — Baystate Franklin Medical Center announced it will offer the Stress Management and Resiliency Training (SMART) course beginning Monday, Jan. 28.

Developed by the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, the 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.

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

“The purpose of this program is to help participants develop self-care tools to manage stress,” said program facilitator Cheryl Pascucci. “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 an individual’s responses to stress and how to change though patterns.

SMART is an eight-week program that will be held in the hospital’s conference rooms on Monday evenings from 6 to 8 p.m. The cost is $150, which includes a workbook. Pre-registration is required. For more information or to register, call Pascucci at (413) 773-2741.

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