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Cooking In Recovery classes resume

Sean Jones, Mental Health Association certified peer specialist, is resuming his weekly Cooking in Recovery classes both in person and virtually on Friday, Sept. 11, from noon to 1 p.m. Classes are open to anyone and will be recorded and posted on the MHA's YouTube channel.

About three years ago, Sean Jones began offering his Cooking in Recovery class as a volunteer at the Mental Health Association in Chautauqua County.

Now an MHA certified peer specialist, Jones is resuming weekly in-person classes on Friday, Sept. 11, from noon to 1 p.m. Anyone is welcome to participate by coming to the MHA in the rear of the Gateway Center, 31 Water Street, Door 14, in Jamestown. The class is also held virtually on YouTube.

When the MHA’s facilities were closed during the COVID crisis, Jones recorded classes that are still available to anyone, anytime at youtube.com/c/MHAChautauquaOrg. The new classes will also be posted there.

The former owner of Jones Valhalla Restaurant in Jamestown presents some basic cooking skills for those who lack them or who need a refresher or encouragement to try again. Even experienced cooks can learn culinary skills and how to create a variety of tasty, nourishing dishes through these classes and the YouTube episodes.

In Episode 1 students can learn how to more safely and efficiently dice vegetables for a nutritious and delicious chicken asparagus soup. In Episode 7 Jones makes lasagna at home with his family. Other episodes feature seared chicken with fresh strawberry salsa over toasted rice, spinach salad with honey dijon dressing, grilled tuna melt, homestyle chicken noodle soup, macaroni salad, and more. With each YouTube episode students can work along with him in their own kitchen.

After showing how to make a quick salad topped with chicken and candied pecans in Episode 3, Jones shares the story of his personal path to recovery after more than two decades of alcoholism and substance use disorder. It is not hard to see that his commitment is not really to food; it is to supporting others on their own paths.

The Cooking in Recovery Class is supported by Farm Fresh Foods in partnership with St. Luke’s Episcopal Church.

Wearing face coverings and safe distancing are part of all in-person experiences at the MHA.

The Mental Health Association is a peer recovery center offering support groups and individual coaching for people looking to improve their lives, deepen wellness, thrive in recovery or support those on a recovery path. Peers use their personal stories to help people find recovery in their own lives in their own way.

All Mental Health Association services are free. For the most current information on group meetings, visit MHAChautauqua.org/groups.

Anyone with questions or in need of services for themselves or a family member can call or text 661-9044 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. To obtain free Narcan, a nasal spray medication for those having an opioid overdose, call or text 661-9044 with contact information. To be notified of upcoming events and changes to MHA programming, visit MHAChautauqua.org/list. To learn more about the Mental Health Association, visit MHAChautauqua.org or facebook.com/MHAChautauqua, or check out the MHA’s spring/summer newsletter at MHAChautauqua.org/newsletters.

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