The owners of an Upper Arlington restaurant that focuses on locally sourced, pesticide-free foods will launch a foundation in August they hope will help facilitate conversations about mental health and the role of nutrition in overall wellness.
Since opening SOW Plated in stores on Lane Avenue in July 2019, John and Sunny Fahlgren have strived to “celebrate dining at the highest level” with a menu that focuses heavily on natural and local offerings.
SOW is an acronym for Sustainability, Organic, and Wellness.
The couple plan to continue the message that healthy eating can help promote a healthy body and mind by creating the Wall of Hope Foundation, which John Valgren said will strive to provide fresh, high-quality, nutrient-rich meals for families struggling with mental health. crisis while also educating people about the critical role of food in improving mental health.
After raising seed funding, creating a board of directors and partnering with The Columbus Foundation, a 501c3 that helps donors and others strengthen the community, Fahlgrens will announce the creation of the Wall of Hope Foundation at an OAR concert on August 7. In Kimba Live. An advisory board of Wall of Hope’s founding partners provides strategic advice to the foundation.
“Our approach was more…trying to look at the person as a whole,” Valgren said. “We definitely believe in medication, but we also believe that you should approach the mental health conversation proactively. That means self-preservation, taking time for yourself, yoga, and eating well.” Right.
“Nutrition has been an often overlooked part of the mental health equation. We know there is an evidence-based relationship between food and the brain. We are just trying to spread awareness of the fact that we are what we eat.”
Various studies over the past 20 years have sought to further investigate the relationship between food and mood. One of them, published in January 2020 by the European College of Psychopharmacology and Neuropsychology, an independent scientific society dedicated to the science and treatment of brain disorders, found evidence that a Mediterranean diet rich in vegetables and olive oil shows mental health benefits such as providing some protection from depression and anxiety;
Through the foundation, the Valgren family plans to raise $150,000 by August 1 to fund an inaugural campaign called Operation Hope. John Valgren said a lot of that funding will come from a small group of families and businesses aligned with this movement.
At SOW Plated, a “round it up” program will be put in place in which restaurant guests can choose to round the amount they pay for their checks to the nearest dollar, with 100% of the funds raised to directly support the Foundation’s initiatives.
Walgren said the scope and reach of the Wall of Hope Foundation is still under development, but plans are for the money it raises to support educational materials about the role that nutrient-rich food plays in mental health at places like Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Ohio State University, and Grandview Heights High School , Arlington High School and Wellington School.
“We’ll start with high schools in Tri-Village as a bit more local than this,” Valgren said. “Beyond that, we eventually want to get out to all of the Central Ohio high schools and provide the educational tools — books, videos, and so on.”
The foundation will also provide funds for educational materials and emergency food assistance to families facing mental health crises while in the Ronald MacDonald room at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in the Behavioral Health Wing in Big Lotus.
Wahlgren said the foundation at Ohio State University will provide meals for patients and staff at Harding Hospital “or similar as suggested by our partners at Ohio State University,” as well as fund clinical research projects within Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center to study the relationship between food and mood.
Dr. K. said: “We need more people like John and Sunny to raise the level of the conversation,” Luan Fan, MD, professor and chair of psychiatry and behavioral health at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center “They have a passion for the relationship between nutrition science and how what we eat can heal us.
“Anytime you bring people, businesses, and community resources together around an issue like this, amazing things like the Wall of Hope Foundation will take shape and have an impact. To advance the mental health and well-being of the community, we need as many science- and evidence-based approaches as possible beyond what is being done.” It is introduced in clinical settings and by clinical providers. We all need to get involved with our health and in this case, thinking about how and what we eat can have an enormous impact – both positive and negative – on our mood and cognition.”
Fan said OSU Wexner officials decided to partner with The Wall of Hope because “the need to conduct research to better understand the causes of[mental illness]and explore new, innovative treatments is critical if we are to treat our children, families, and communities.”
While he expects more details over the coming months, Walgren said the foundation also intends to launch a public service advertising campaign that will feature various celebrities, athletes and others with connections to Central Ohio who have been affected by mental illness.