New OBX wellness program ‘The Life Skills Series,’ designed for recovery community

By on September 28, 2022

Program creators and facilitators Jen Yang and Louisa Farr.

There’s a new wellness program coming to the Outer Banks this October — one that is focused specifically on the area’s recovery community. Funded through a grant from The Outer Banks Community Foundation and sponsored by the Saving Lives Task Force, “The Life Skills Series: Steps for Sustained Recovery,” is the first of its kind in the area.

The program’s creators and facilitators, local occupational therapist Louisa Farr and local nurse coach Jen Yang, believe the principles of wellness and self-care are especially important for the recovery community. The series of programs are presented free of charge.

Offering a series of eight activity- and education-based workshops beginning on Oct. 4 — and focusing on topics such as nutrition, stress management, self-care, finances, healthy relationships, and pain management, to name of a few — this series isn’t about lecturing people on getting their four to five servings of fruits and veggies a day.

According to Farr, learning these healthy habits is actually much more crucial to sobriety than some may think.

“Statistically, a lot of people relapse when there’s a lot of stress in their life, so they might be a few months sober. But then they lose their job, and they just don’t know how to deal with it – and then they start using drugs again, she said. “So they don’t necessarily have the coping skills to rely on to get through that.”

Farr spent a year researching this topic for a class project in her Occupational Therapy Masters program in which she and her classmates were assigned to create the pilot for this program for a sober living facility in New Jersey. They researched and planned the program and recorded and analyzed the participants progress and results.

“So I feel confident in the program in that it’s completely evidence-based,” says Farr.

When she joined with Yang to bring the series to the Outer Banks, they updated and tweaked the content with Yang’s expertise in holistic wellness, which focuses on treatment of the whole person, taking into account mental and social factors rather than just the symptoms of a disease.

When asked how she wants participants to feel when they leave the workshops, Yang said “I want people to leave the workshops knowing they have a toolbelt of resources to get through any situation.” Yang and Farr will incorporate some fun and games into the program. For their first workshop of the series, on Oct. 4, they will be playing a nutrition-themed version of Jeopardy.

The two women say they’ve had many supporters helping them along the way in the year-long process of planning the program and acquiring funding. When applying for the grant from the Outer Banks Community Foundation, they learned that in order to qualify, they had to become an official non-profit organization. Foundation President and CEO Chris Sawin told them not to give up and encouraged Farr and Yang to find a local non-profit that would sponsor them.

“Our grants committee was enthusiastic about supporting the Life Skills Series program,” Sawin told the Voice. “This free workshop series will offer participants in-depth education and training and will impart new skills to help them successfully navigate life challenges while they are on their journeys to recovery.”

For its part, The Saving Lives Task Force immediately agreed to come on board and sponsor the program.

According to Roxana Ballinger, Co-Chair of the task force, ongoing recovery support and teaching the skills to maintain the recovery journey fill one of the biggest gaps in the services offered on the Outer Banks.

“Going through treatment and/or rehab is only the first step in that journey,” she said. “Recovery is a lifelong journey. After you get out of rehab or any kind of treatment for addiction, you need support in many areas of your life. The recovery life skills program is just that. We need this program.”

For more information, please contact Roxanna Ballinger at 252-475-5619; Louisa Farr at; Jen Yang at


Barnhill Contracting Company will receive sealed proposals for Manns Harbor – EMS/Fire Facility (EMS-8), Kitty Hawk – EMS/Fire Facility (EMS-9), Manteo – Youth Center on January 09, 2024. Times to be given on via addendum #01. See the following SCOPE OF WORK: BP 100 – General Trades, BP 105 – Final Cleaning, BP 205 – Demolition, BP 390 – Turnkey Concrete, BP 400 – Turnkey Masonry, BP 500 – Turnkey Structural Steel & Misc. Steel, BP 505 – Light Gauge Metal Trusses, BP 740 – Roofing, BP750 – Siding, BP 790 – Caulking/Sealants, BP 800 – Turnkey Doors/Frames/Hardware/Toilet Specialties/Accessories/Division 10, BP 840 – Curtainwall/Storefront/Glass/Glazing, BP 925 – Drywall/Framing, BP 960 – Resilient Flooring/Carpet/Base/Epoxy, BP 980 – Acoustical Ceilings, BP 990 – Painting and Wall Coverings, BP 1230 – Finish Carpentry and Casework, BP 1250 – Window Treatments, BP 2100 – Fire Protection, BP 2200 – Plumbing, BP 2300 – HVAC, BP 2600 – Electrical, BP 3100 – Earthwork/Turnkey Site, BP 3213- Site Concrete, BP 3290 – Landscaping. Scopes of work may be added and/or deleted at the discretion of the Construction Manager.

Bid Location and Time: Bid opening will be held in the Barnhill Contracting Rocky Mount Training & GPS Technology Room: 800 Tiffany Bvld, Rocky Mount, NC 27804. Time is as follows: January 09, 2024 at 10:00am and 2:00pm. Times per packages to be given on via addendum #01.

Barnhill Contracting Company will receive, open, and read publicly all bids received in person in the Training & GPS Technology Room at the main office and listed with the virtual viewing at the link to be posted on Barnhill’s Plan Room.

Bids will not be accepted from bidders that are not pre-qualified. No facsimile or email submissions are permitted. Sealed bids are to be hand delivered to the bid opening location noted above or mailed Sealed Bids can be delivered before 9:00am the day of the bid to the Barnhill Contracting Company Office at 800 Tiffany Blvd., Suite 200 Rocky Mount, NC 27804. Attention “Clint Hardison.”

The pre-bid meeting will be held in Person & Zoom Meeting on December 06, 2023 at 10:00 am at the Barnhill Contracting’s Rocky Mount Main Conference Room: 800 Tiffany Bvld, Rocky Mount, NC 27804.

The pre-bid meeting link can be located on Barnhill’s online Building Division Plan Room ( and below. A preferred brand alternates meeting will be held via the same link at the end of the Prebid meeting.

Bid Documents can be viewed or downloaded through Barnhill’s online Building Division Plan Room ( after 12/04/2023.

All Bidders are strongly encouraged to include opportunities for HUB participation wherever possible in their respective Bid submission.  HUB participation is a part of this contract and must comply with all requirements set forth in the Bid Documents.

The Construction Manager and Owner reserve the right to add pre-qualified bidders. The Construction Manager and Owner reserve the right to reject any and all bids. Should you require additional direction, please call Barnhill Contracting Company, (Clint Hardison – 252-802-0740).

Clint Hardison is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

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