Communitas Health is a non-profit organization that provides integrative medicine education and experiences, peer support, and empowerment with mind-body skills for young people living with chronic illness and their caregivers. Since 2014, we have served over 60 families with our mind-body resilience groups, which have been held at the UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine. Patient diagnoses have ranged from cancer to autoimmune illness to cerebral palsy, with the majority of patients being Medicaid recipients.
In 2018, they partnered with Commonweal, Power of Hope Camp, HKI and a new caregiver support organization to host an immersive, residential retreat for underserved youth living with chronic illness and their caregivers. The Communitas retreat provided an immersive, lived experience of practicing mind-body skills, healthy lifestyle modalities, and creative/reflective practices in a community of similar peers — all with the goals of improving life quality/health outcomes, creating a sense of meaning/purpose, and reducing suffering. This retreat was a transformative experience that will allow youth and their caregivers to harness the power of illness to be an opportunity for health-enhancement, human connection, and resilience-building in a natural, healing setting.