Jackson organization ‘Lifeways’ receives major renovations to better treat mental health


JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS)—Inside the walls of the Lifeways building in Jackson lies a completely renovated space offering around-the-clock care to anybody struggling with mental health. It’s a 5-year project that CEO Maribeth Leonard says is here to create an inviting alternative to having to go to the ER.

“As a community we were struggling with individuals ending up in the emergency department, ending up in jails, and not having an alternative, an appropriate alternative to being able to treat individuals in crisis,” said CEO of Lifeways, Maribeth Leonard.

That’s why the center was built with a friendly environment in mind. This includes a 5-bedroom residential unit with a full kitchen where people can stay up to two weeks, along with what they are calling a 24-hour crisis stabilization area where people can receive individual therapy and personalized help.

“Maybe you just need a safe place to be where you can have some active treatment for up to 23 hours with peers, people with lived experience,” said Leonard.

Director of Crisis Services at Lifeways, Wade Stitt says he’s recently seen a steady increase of people showing up who might not otherwise need help. That’s why he believes this is coming at the perfect time.

“This place really provides a safe place where people can start that journey, to find and to discover that hope again,” said Stitt.

It’s a place of hope Leonard says is open to anyone in Jackson or Hillsdale counties.

“Everybody is struggling with continued isolation, and those natural supports that help us when we are struggling. Don’t be afraid to reach out. We are here for you.”

The renovated space is nearly finished and hopes to officially open very soon in order to meet people right where they are.

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