The Journey Toward Mental Health Marches On

Anna-Magdalena Christianson is on a journey. It’s a journey to help other people to get better, which in return helps her get better. Christianson is Executive Director of MI-Journey, the recently established mental health facility, which also serves as a drop-in recovery center at 2460 M-139 in Suite B in Benton Charter Township. The organization held a joint St. Patrick’s Day Party and formal Ribbon Cutting ceremony as part of an Open House event on Friday afternoon.

The event was hosted by Cornerstone Chamber of Commerce, who has been working with the non-profit agency since they first opened in that location last April. Friday’s event was the opportunity for everyone to welcome the agency which offers services free of charge to all Berrien County residents who live with serious mental illness. The MI-Journey Drop-In Center serves as a safe, welcoming place where people with serious mental illness feel accepted and valued.

As a drop-in center, they provide a place for people to socialize, watch TV, listen to the radio or play games. The MI-Journey staff says recovery from mental illness is a reality. The team provides an environment that fosters recovery and facilitates re-integration into the community. MI-Journey provides classes, workshops, and activities that focus on recovery and getting one’s life back.

The new center is currently in an evolutionary stage, and not everything is in place, but they will soon be providing Tobacco Recovery workshops and support groups, Nutrition & Weight Management workshops and support groups, Recovery classes, Arts & Crafts groups, and Physical Activity programming.

The center also provides computers for participant use, some exercise equipment (with more on the way as the year advances), a soon-to-be fully functional kitchen to help the delivery of breakfast and lunch programs every day and more.

If interest ranges high enough, they will also start a Hearing Voices support group soon. Additional planning is underway to finding access to a passenger van to transport clients daily and supplement extra-curricular activities beyond the walls of MI-Journey.

The mission of MI-Journey, as emblazoned onto the walls inside is: “We aspire to treat all people with dignity, respect and kindness regardless of their differences.” There are also quotes on the walls from Mahatma Gandhi, Muhammad Ali, and Executive Director Anna-Magdalena Christianson.

This new location is new, bright, airy and more accessible to county as a whole. Current hours of operation are from 9am until 3pm Monday through Friday.

At MI-Journey they know what it’s like to have one’s life completely up-ended (even destroyed) by mental illness, but they also know what it’s like to get that life back.  You can reach MI-Journey at 944-9448, or click this link now for additional information: