LifeWays Receives Grant to Continue and Expand Mental Health Services

JACKSON, Mich. — Brandon Guild has been using LifeWays for 10 years.

“I have schizophrenia, PTSD and depression,” he said.

During the pandemic, he says the organization went above and beyond to get him Guild medicine when he couldn’t arrive.

“Which really helped,” he said. “It’s just a real game-changer to have someone on your side, especially in the area of ​​mental health. It feels like everyone is against you and anyone you can put on your side is a help.

Now these services can continue.

Through a grant, LifeWays will receive nearly $1 million annually for the next four years to continue and expand its services.

“Our crisis living unit, which was made possible in part through the Community Behavioral Health Clinic grant, our ability to respond to crisis services in both counties 24 hours a day, to operate a 24-hour crisis center of 24, to move towards the creation of psychiatric emergency care as part of this expansion with the CCBHC and also looking at the Crisis Stabilization Unit model, all of which will provide much needed services to members of the community who are experiencing these acute psychiatric needs,” Crisis Services Director Wade Stitt said.

LifeWays offers many mental health services for people of all ages.

“I see mental health as an evolution,” said Executive Director of Access and Crisis Services David Lowe. “You are always looking for evidence-based best practices. You are always looking for different program developments or how you can reduce red tape for the community and how you can streamline access to care. I think the important thing for the community is to know that there will always be a life of suffrage, and we want to make sure that we are involved in that.

Jackson resident and former Rose Queen winner Jessa Pettry has had her own mental health struggles. She says it’s a step in the right direction, but the community needs to take a closer look at the issue.

“Mental health has always been really stigmatized,” she said. “I never really felt comfortable talking about it with anyone just because of what you see in the media and what you hear from people throughout your life. Few people are ready to talk about it. So I had a really hard time growing up with that.

She says there needs to be more access to mental health services.

“I think it needs to be talked about more in schools,” she said. “That way students feel more comfortable at school to maybe talk to a teacher or another student and figure out what those resources are, because you can’t always necessarily access them at the home. I just think it’s important to talk about it, so I’d like to see more of a community support system to help people come out and feel empowered to talk about it and find those resources that we have but that we didn’t really recognized.

Guild says if you’re new to mental health, they’d suggest LifeWays.

“They just do a really good job. I see a lot of people going through this so I know they must be doing something right,” Guild said.

LifeWays is located at 1200 North West Avenue in Jackson and 25 Care Drive in Hillsdale.

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