“It would be great if everyone could openly talk about mental health challenges and there was no stigma,” says Lisa Smith, executive director for Mental Health America of Northeast Indiana, or MHANI. “But the truth is that mental illness is real and it’s vitally important that we educate ourselves, our families, our workplace and our community about the challenges people are facing every day. We can’t overcome the stigma of mental illness if we’re afraid of it or ignore it.”
For more than 60 years, MHANI has strived to address community issues involving mental health and personal wellbeing. Smith and Teresa Harmeyer, director of development, shared MHANI’s mission and the impact it is having on northeast Indiana.
What is MHANI?
Smith: We are a local, nonprofit organization and we are here to serve the northeast Indiana region. We offer a wide range of community support services to help individuals and families who are experiencing emotional and mental health challenges. We assist people with navigating the mental health system. We work with emergency services to insure that people get to the hospital when they are truly in crisis. We provide a residential program called Cedars Hope and we provide guardianship services for incapacitated adults. We are focused on making sure people have all the information, tools and personal support they need to be healthy.
MHANI uses a new concept called the “front door.” What is that?
Smith: Our “front door” concept welcomes those in need of mental health assistance. The “front door” is our way of opening the dialogue for people struggling with their own recovery or who need to enter the door for the first time. MHANI is focused on encouraging people to actively engage in their own wellness.
Harmeyer: Our “front door” services are here to offer assistance to individuals and families when life becomes difficult to manage.
How can the community support MHANI?
Harmeyer: As a local organization, we deeply appreciate the time, talent and financial gifts from the community. All donations and sponsorships stay local to help our community. Please contact us to find out more about ways to volunteer and support MHANI.
Address: 2200 Lake Avenue, Ste. 105 Fort Wayne, Indiana 46805
Phone: (260) 422-6441
Years in Business: 62
Number of Employees: 15
Products & Services: Community support services, information/education, referrals, peer-driven support groups, training, guardianship services, Cedars Hope housing, client advocacy and volunteer opportunities available.