Spring 2022

Dear Journey Community,
Welcome Back! We are finally starting back up the quarterly Journey Newsletter! It has been far too long since we have talked. How long has it been? Since 2019! It's amazing how time flies. So much has changed at Journey since then and we are so very excited to tell you all about it! 
Journey Mental Health Center

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Featured above:  Larissa Lederman, Journey's Administrative Assitant (Left), and Becky Eberhardt, Journey's Information Management Specialist (Right) at the Annual NAMI Dane County Gala & Awards Banquet 



What's New at Journey?



Meet Journey’s New CEO – Tanya Lettman-Shue

By Becky Eberhardt, Journeys Information Management Specialist 

In July of 2021, Tanya Lettman-Shue took over as President and CEO (Chief Executive Officer) of Journey Mental Health Center. Tanya is not new to Journey. In fact, she will be celebrating 20 years at Journey this September! I sat down with Tanya recently to find out why she chose this field of work, what plans are on the horizon for Journey, and how she manages her own wellness. 


Tell us a little about yourself. 

I began my career in behavioral health in 1995 and provided direct services to consumers for over 20 years. I focused much of my career in the adult substance use disorder (SUD) and mental health arenas. I’ve had the privilege to work with most programs within Journey in some capacity. I feel fortunate to have started my career at Journey in a direct service position and been afforded the opportunity to grow and develop my skillset within the administrative arena. I would like every Journey employee to have those same opportunities to grow and develop their own path.  

Did you always want to work in the mental health and SUD field? 

In college, I thought I wanted to be a teacher. However, when I started working in the classroom, I could see the impact that having a lack of resources had on the students. Many of the kids experienced intergenerational poverty along with limited access to services. Parents were struggling and as a result, you could see the weight this had on the children. I began focusing my career ambitions on the field of social work. I wanted to help people access basic services such as food, shelter, and healthcare. If you do not have access to these necessities your trajectory in life can be limited and it is hard to focus on improving your physical health and mental health.  

What gets you out of bed each day? What is your passion? 

I want people to have a better understanding of what it means to acknowledge and address mental health challenges and experience the hope and promise offered through recovery. Everyone has the capacity to take control of their own physical and mental wellbeing if given the opportunity to access resources. We have an obligation to the next generation to be more mental health literate and focus on the mind-body connection. Younger generations are no longer willing to buy into the stigma associated with mental health and are entering into more dialogues about their experiences. Those conversations are inspiring. I cherish hearing recovery stories. I know change is not only possible, but that recovery happens every day.  

What goals do you have for Journey? 

I want Journey to be a center of excellence. I want it to be a place where consumers receive comprehensive care that keeps them in the community while helping them identify what they want for themselves. I want Journey to be an organization where employees are valued, equitably compensated, and our staff come to work every day because they enjoy the camaraderie of their peers along with a shared mission to serve our community. 

What challenges are you currently facing? 

Journey has been the best-kept secret in Madison for quite some time. We are going to be challenged to raise our visibility and inform the community about the vital role that Journey plays.  Along with our community partners, we need to ensure that individuals who are at risk receive the right level of care at the right time. There are too many people who are unfamiliar with the services that Journey provides within the spectrum of community programs offered.  

We will need to do advocacy with our state and local governments to adequately fund behavioral health services. Journey and other nonprofits in the community struggle with adequate reimbursement. We will need to flow avenues of fundraising to support our mission.  

Another challenge facing employers is the significant workforce shortage and Journey is no exception. We are challenged to find innovative ways to grow our local talent. We need to spark an interest in the hearts and minds of the potential workforce and increase peoples’ understanding of the positive impact of working in the community behavioral health field.  

How do you practice wellness when not at work? 

I make a point to connect with nature because it brings me joy. I love the act of gardening. It is such a dynamic hobby that ebbs and flows throughout the seasons. Even the act of weeding is gratifying. I enjoy hiking, biking, kayaking, and snowshoeing. I cherish the time I get to spend with my family and friends. I also appreciate my alone time where I can read, listen to podcasts, or watch a good show. I consider myself to be a lifelong learner and value the opportunity to see something through a new lens. I find it difficult to be still but am learning that there is value in stillness as well as in action. I am not sure where that will lead, but I am open to the possibilities.  

What do you suggest people do to manage their own wellness (what have you seen that works for people?) 

I would encourage others to look objectively at their life. Wellness is an individualized practice. It looks different for each person and can look different at various times in our lives. It is easy to tune in and turn off in our world that can become so focused on electronics and outside expectations. We should “try on” activities and find out what feels right for ourselves? Too often wellness is limited to sleep, diet, and exercise. More important is to ask the question - What brings you joy? Then find time to schedule those activities into your life.  



What is DEI?

By Armando Hernández, PhD (he/him/elles) , Journey's Chief Diversity Officer

Journey has a long history of engagement with what is now known as Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion or DEI for short. From consultants to the still active Diversity & Inclusion Committee, Journey has been engaged in assuring our services are responsive to our racial, gender, and cultural diversity. Since the 1980s, we have been actively pursuing “cultural competence” as an important strategic initiative.  
We adopted our first “Cultural Diversity Plan” in the early 1990s. We have incorporated cultural diversity standards and developed agency-wide training experiences to support continuous engagement in DEI. Being a recovery-oriented, consumer-focused, and trauma-informed agency are parallel equity-driven strategies that support our efforts towards healing and empowering everyone who walks through our doors.  

Last year, Journey created the senior level position of Chief Diversity Officer to further integrate and prioritize this critical work.  It is an honor for me to work in this capacity. I recognize this work is both internal and external. We look in the mirror to continually grow and learn. We also look out the window to develop a vision and develop partnership to disrupt inequality in all its forms and build an equity-drive system of care where everyone belongs.

The work of promoting DEI is ongoing, dynamic and, often, complicated. In the last decade, we have seen significant developments in what it means to develop culturally responsive services. This work began with the grounding notion of "cultural and linguistic competence” which SAMSHA defined as "the capacity to function effectively as an individual and an organization within the context of the cultural beliefs, behaviors, and needs presented by consumers and their communities.” 

This core concept is expanded by the core values of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Diversity is about “empowering people by respecting and appreciating what makes them different”. Equity is about “narrowing the gaps between the most- and least-privileged”. Inclusion is about “creating an environment of involvement, respect, and connection.” In an always-growing area, these ideas are further expanded and refined by the concepts of belonging and antiracism.  

“Belonging entails having a meaningful voice and the opportunity to participate in the design of social and cultural structures.” —john a. powell 

Antiracism “...includes the expression of ideas that racial groups are equals and do not need developing and supports policies that reduce racial inequity.” —Ibram X. Kendi 

Being truly committed to DEI requires a courageous commitment to system change through the lens of those whom society keeps at the margins. The process of designing systems for belonging, resilience, and healing begins with “seeing” race, gender, culture, and power and how they impact our day-to-day. We then collectively and courageously engage in dialogue:  

  • How can we empower people and communities placed outside our circle of care?  

  • How are our actions, policies, and systems impacting those who have been historically oppressed?  

  • How can we nurture a path that places strength, resilience, and belonging at the center?  

What are your reactions and ideas in response to the questions? What comes up for you? I would love to hear from you. Feel free to send me a note with your reflections at, a.hernandez@journeymhc.org



Learn More About Our Crisis Call Center!

By Hannah Flanagan, Journey’s Director of ESU


How many of you knew that Journey had a Crisis call center? Journey's center handles calls from all over, from different people all throughout Dane County. Crisis itself now serves over 5,800 unique consumers. Last year, our Crisis call center had about 44,000 calls, which is an increase of 16.4% over the last two years.

Here are a few insights from call center staff about the work that they do:


1. Is there an overall theme to the calls that you receive? 

 We deal with a lot of situational stress, those who have a difficulty getting support, to consumers who are suffering from loneliness or having issues with medication.

2. Are more people calling than others? For example, is it mainly teens, females or males, older adults or all across the board?

In the moment, it’s hard for us to capture that data. I would say that it is really quite diverse. 

3. Can you describe how you handle these calls, what is the process?  

First, we do an introduction, we get what basic demographic info we can, then we  complete a risk assessment and then we work on providing the appropriate intervention and help that the consumer needs.

4. Anything your team does to help with the emotional toll these calls can have on staff?  

We do a lot of processing, multiple times a day. Different cases affect different people, so we try to be

cognizant of that and talk with each staff person about how to best address the staff's needs. Transparency and shared vulnerability from leadership provides an example that emotions are ok & we will work through it together.

5. Tell us about your team of telephone workers? What is a typical day like? 

They are incredible people who have an exceedingly difficult job.  They are tasked with doing a thorough risk assessment for someone that they can't even see.  Clinicians often rely on non-verbal communication as much or more as they rely on verbal communication when assessing risk.  Our phone workers have to be exceptionally adept at picking up non-verbal warning signs while on the phone.  We work side by side, consulting and supporting each other all day long

6. What do you like most about doing this work? 

Seeing people go from the worst day of their lives to living life in a healthy and safe way.




Journey Attains Re-accreditation

By Dave Bertrand, Chief Operating Officer

In December of 2021, Journey Mental Health Center hosted the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities or CARF Survey Team as part of our efforts to earn another three-year accreditation. CARF is an international, independent, nonprofit accreditor of health and human service programs.

We are proud to announce that Journey received an official notification as a three-year accredited facility! During their exit conference in December, and again in their written report, they paid high accolades to Journey for the life-changing impact that we have on our community.

This accreditation (which extends through January 2025) marks the fifth time that Journey has received this three-year accreditation and signifies our continued dedication towards quality improvement and commitment to our consumers.

On behalf of Journey …THANK YOU to our clinical service teams and leaders as well as those who provide supportive services to our programs because, without your continued devotion, this re-accreditation would not have been possible.


Journey Featured in BRAVA Magazine Interview

Recently, Tanya Lettman-Shue and a participant from the Dane County OWI Treatment Court program were interviewed for an article for BRAVA Magazine regarding recovery. You can read the article HERE. 


Madison’s Mental Health Crisis-Response Program (C.A.R.E.S.) Expands Citywide                                        

A Madison pilot program that sends paramedics and crisis workers to mental health emergencies in lieu of police is now answering calls citywide as officials hope to expand the alternative to law enforcement in the months ahead.


Journey’s Yahara House Program Welcomed Art Lovers in Madison

Yahara House, a program of Journey Mental Health Center, located at 802 E. Gorham St., opened its doors to the public on May 6 as part of Spring Gallery Night. Many folks from all around came to see the variety of art that Yahara House had displayed amongst its walls. 

Click HERE to see the article leading up to the event.


Journey’s Director of Clinic-Based Programs Interviewed for Quarterly Magazine

Tyson Rittenmeyer, Director of Clinic-Based programs, was recently interviewed by Quarterly Magazine* for an article about helping those in recovery quit smoking. Click HERE to read the article.

*Quarterly Magazine is published four times a year by the Wisconsin Medical Alumni Association and UW School of Medicine and Public Health and includes news, alumni profiles, student-life stories, class notes, and more. This article is being shared with permission from Quarterly Magazine.



Upcoming Training

Learn about what Journey has to offer!

Name of Training: Understanding and Reducing Microaggressions and Bias in Psychotherapy with Two Spirit, Trans, and Nonbinary Clients Date: Tuesday, June 21, 2022 Time: 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m Presenters: Stephanie Budge, PhD, Marquel Norton, E.Ds., & Joonwoo Lee, M.S. UWMadison, Trans CARE Collaborative Venue:  Zoom 3.0 CE Hours (NBCC/ACEP Approved #6760) Registration: Visit our website to register at journeymhc.org Cost: The fee for this event is $90 before June 14th.  After June 14th, the fee will be $120.

Additional information about Trans Care Collaborative can be located on their websites: https://www.trl.education.wisc.edu and https://www.transcarecollabstudy.com.

Name of Training: The Ethics of Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Treatment – SUD Training Series Date: Thursday, June 9, 2022 Time:  9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Presenter: Robin Lickel, LPC, CSAC Venue:  Zoom 3.0 CE Hours* (NBCC/ACEP Approved #6760) Registration: Visit our website to register at journeymhc.org    Cost: $75


Description: In this interactive presentation, we will spend the morning discussing the ethical issues that face clinicians who support recovery from substance use disorders. For example, what is the purpose of urine drug testing? How has the language clinicians use affected the efficacy of treatment? How is a SUD therapist different from an AA sponsor, and how is that different from a recovery coach or peer support specialist? If SUD treatment is most effectively offered by a multidisciplinary team, what does that look like? Join us for a lively discussion that welcomes all perspectives.


Keep your eye on our website for more upcoming trainings. Coming soon will be:

  • Trauma & SUD - SUD Training Series 8/11/2022 - Lickel
  • Motivational Interviewing & SUD 9/8/2022 - Louther
  • The Highly Sensitive Child 9/27/2022 - Shult Hughes






Give to What You Care About


Mental Illness is personal and emotional and affects not only individuals, but family members, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and the community in general. Help support us in making sure that we continue to provide services for those in Wisconsin who need us.  Last year, over 12,000 Wisconsinites received services through Journey. Journey provides hope and a path to health, wellness, and recovery. All our programs are designed to encourage consumers to develop their overall well-being and lead meaningful, productive lives. We have been doing all this since 1948 and all of it wouldn’t have been possible without supporters like you.



Journey Mental Health Center
Journey Mental Health Center, Inc. | 25 Kessel Court, Suite 105 |Madison, WI 535711
608-280-2700 | Media Inquriery? rebecca.eberhardt@journeymhc.org


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