Jackson clubhouse uses a community approach to helping people with mental illness

Michigan

JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS)—Alex Johnson is the leader of the J-Town Club House. It’s an organization working to help anyone struggling with mental illness find community, support, and education all in one place.

“Help build people up again, so they can go find their next goal in life whether that’s getting into independent housing, finding a job, or going back to school,” said Johnson.

It’s a place where everyone knows everybody’s name, and each person has a role to play. Whether that’s working as a receptionist or lending a hand in the kitchen. It’s helping people like Velvet Presley who says the pandemic brought on a huge sense of isolation, but now this place is helping her achieve a dream she didn’t know was possible.

“Getting a job and working. That is my main goal that I’ve been wanting for a while is to get a job,” said J-Town Club Member, Velvet Presley.

For others like Ron Gray, this place is helping him overcome his fears, something he says he’s struggled with his whole life.

“It’s changed me it’s opened me up to where I’m not afraid to talk to people and stuff. I used to be a little bit shy and talking to people, but I’m not shy anymore,” said Club Member, Ron Gray.

Johnson says it’s also about changing the stigma around mental health while also sending a message to people who are struggling that they are not alone.

“I know how Covid made people feel so isolated and mental illness makes people feel isolated but just know that there are people here,” said Johnson.

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