2023 Quarter 2

Dear Journey Community,

May is here, and with it comes an important reminder to prioritize our mental well-being. May is recognized as Mental Health Awareness Month, a time when we come together as a community to raise awareness, spread understanding, and promote self-care. It's a month dedicated to breaking stigmas surrounding mental health, encouraging open conversations, and providing support to those who need it. Please take a moment to reflect on the significance of this month and the steps we can take to support mental well-being.

Journey Mental Health Center

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Journey's Role in the Community 

By Tanya Lettman-Shue, CEO

Pictured above: Tanya Lettman-Shue

Oftentimes, when I have had the opportunity to speak with community members regarding Journey, either the person I'm talking to, their family member, or a friend, has received services from one of Journey’s many programs. They are not, however, always aware of the wider and more comprehensive array of services offered by Journey or the number of partnerships Journey has with local organizations.

Although Journey is Dane County’s largest specialty behavioral health care provider, it is not “an island unto itself.” In reality, Journey is part of a larger safety net in the Dane County community. Not every person who obtains services at Journey will go on to receive long-term care with a Journey provider. [MORE]


Peer Point

Learn about Peer Support Specialists at Journey

By Riley Hays, CSP Case Manager  at Forward Solutions Community Support Program 

Pictured above: Riley Hays

Riley had the opportunity to meet one-on-one with a Peer Support Specialist from Journey's Forward Solutions Community Support Program (CSP).  Read the interview below.

Riley: Tell me about yourself.  

Julie: My name is Julie, and I am a Peer Support Specialist at Forward Solutions Community Support Program. I grew up in Fitchburg, Wisconsin and have lived here for pretty much my whole life.  

I have been a Certified Peer Specialist (CPS) since 2006. I became a CPS because there was a time when three different people in a period of a month told me that I should become a CPS. It took me about three years to become one––I had to jump through a lot of hoops. After I completed my CPS training, I worked for SOAR Case Management Services at Solstice House, a peer-run respite, when it first opened. After that, I worked for Tellurian Behavioral Health for six years at Dane County Care Center and in Tellurian’s Medication-Assisted Treatment and Transitional Housing programs. During the COVID-19 pandemic, I had an internship at Safe Communities. A year ago, I started at Journey and have been here ever since. 

Riley: What makes peer support different from the support conventionally provided by clinicians at Journey?  

Julie: Peer support is different because it reduces the power differential. When I come in and I say, “I’ve been hospitalized” or “I’ve been through treatment for a mental health crisis,” I think it allows people to open up to me more. 

Riley: What do you enjoy most about peer support? What do you least enjoy?  

Julie: I enjoy seeing peoples’ growth and how they own their own recovery. I like it when someone stops doing something for someone else and starts doing it for themselves. I don’t enjoy the driving and all the paperwork involved.  

Riley: As a Peer Support Specialist, what is one hope you have for peer services offered at Journey?  

Julie: I hope that Journey continues to embrace the recovery model more than the medical model. There is so much more to recovery than just taking meds and being compliant. I take meds on a daily basis, but I don’t take meds to be compliant. I take meds for myself and because it helps me live a good life.  



Introducing Our New Director of Development & Donor Relations

Pictured above: Melissa Lipska

Melissa Lipska is Journey’s new Director of Development and Donor Relations. Melissa has spent most of her 15-year career in fundraising and donor relations for colleges and universities including Carroll University and the University of Wisconsin – Platteville. Melissa majored in Psychology in her undergraduate studies and then went on to obtain a Master’s degree in Counseling, and she is passionate about reducing the stigma around mental health. She is very happy to be joining the team at Journey and looks forward to meeting with the generous supporters and ambassadors of Journey and mental health.

Reach out to Melissa to learn more about ways to support and get involved with Journey Mental Health Center. Email: melissa.lipska@journeymhc.org or Phone: 608-280-2410.

Give to what you care about

You can help people struggling with mental illness and/or substance use disorders.  Last year, over 12,000 Wisconsinites received services through Journey. Together, donors and Journey provide hope and a path to health, wellness, and recovery. Let’s make a difference together.







Farmers Market Schedule

At Journey, we are committed to providing support and services to our community, and we believe that outreach is an essential part of this mission. We are excited to announce that we will be conducting outreach over the summer to share information about the services we provide and the good things we do. 


During these outreach events, we will be available to answer questions and provide information about our programs and services. We believe that these events are a great opportunity to connect with members of our community to raise awareness about the services we offer and reduce the stigma surrounding mental health. 


We hope that our outreach efforts will inspire individuals to seek help when they need it and feel empowered in their mental health journey. 


Please see our outreach schedule below. We hope to see you soon!

June 17, 8 am – 12 pm, Dane County Farmers Market     -King St. 

July 15, 8 am – 12 pm, Dane County Farmers Market      - King St. 

August 26, 8 am – 12 pm, Dane County Farmers Market - King St. 

From Left to Right: Becky Eberhardt, Information Management Specialist & Larissa Lederman, Administrative Assistant


Journey Coloring Pages

In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, Journey has created coloring pages that focus on positive mental health messages and self-care.

Coloring has many health benefits.  According to a Mayo Clinic Health System article, coloring can help relieve stress and promote mindfulness. Get started by clicking HERE to download your own copy. 


Bowling for Bobo

On Saturday, April 22, 2023, The AJS Project held a fundraiser for Journey. The event was called, “Break the Stigma – Bowlin’ 4 BoBo'. The event was held at Schwoegler’s Park Towne Lanes. The fundraiser was in honor of Anthony “Tony” James Schwoegler, who died by suicide at the age of 31 on April 24, 2022. According to the AJS Project website, “Although Tony was always the life of the party and full of humor, he had an ongoing and often silent struggle with mental health, substance abuse, and ultimately addiction.” The event drew a large crowd. If you would like to learn more about the event,  click HERE to view video footage from Channel3000.


First row from left to right: Tanya Lettman-Shue, Pete Zallar, & Heidi Pankoke (Board Member). Back row from left to right: James VanAbel, Mark Benson (Yahara House Member), Brad Schlough, Nelsie Stern, Melissa Lipska, Nichole Wright, & Marcia Hansen (Board Member)

Journey Celebrates at NAMI’s Annual Celebration of Service

Journey staff, consumers, and board members gathered at NAMI’s Annual Celebration of Service. Yahara House member, Elissa Kinch, received the Jim Hinsberger Award. This award goes to a person with lived experience with an exemplary community service record.  Congratulations to all NAMI Award Winners!


Learn About Journey’s Partnership With MPD’s Mental Health Unit

Sarah Henrickson, ESU Clinical Team Manager, and Sgt. Jared Prado from the Madison Police Department (MPD) recently sat down for an interview with Spectrum News’ In Focus. The interview shed light on the collaborative efforts between Journey and the MPD’s mental health unit. The partnership aims to address the critical intersection of mental health and law enforcement, ensuring better outcomes for individuals in crisis. Click HERE to watch the interview.


Nelsie Stern representing Journey at the Marshall Mental Health Resource Fair.

Journey Participates in Marshall’s 1st Annual Mental Health Resource Fair

On May 5th, Nelsie Stern, Associate Director of School Based Services, and Becky Eberhardt, Information Management Specialist,  represented Journey at a mental health resource fair in Marshall, Wisconsin. NAMI Dane County, the Behavioral Health Resource Center, and GSAFE were just a few of the organizations that were in attendance. Many students and educators stopped by to learn about the services offered at Journey.


Culver’s Share Night Fundraiser

Journey Staff and the Board of Directors volunteered their time on Tuesday, April 25th, and participated in the Culver’s Share Night Fundraiser. It was a pleasure to work with Culver’s as we seek to not only raise funds for Journey but to raise community awareness.

It was quite busy with approximately 65% of their business being comprised of drive-through delivery and 35% dine-in.  Journey volunteers ran orders out to customers with curbside pickup and drive-through, as well as, delivering dine-in orders. One of our newest board members, Mickey Biel, jumped right in and started introducing herself to customers, offering them pamphlets and asking to educate them about our services.

Thank you to those that volunteered and those that came out to support the cause. It was great to see everyone and partake in some yummy Culver’s offerings.

From left to right: Lisa Fishler (Board Member), Jim Christensen (Board – Vice Chair), Kathy Nelson, Nichole Wright, Tanya Lettman-Shue, Dave Bertrand, Callie Reyes


Brad Schlough, Yahara House Clubhouse Director

Yahara House Participated in Gallery Night 

Yahara House recently was a host site for the Madison Museum of Contemporary Arts (MMoCA) annual Art Gallery Night on Friday, May 5th. Original works from artists from the Yahara House community were available for purchase. Proceeds from the sale will benefit the artist or Yahara House. 

For more Yahara House news, be sure to check out their 2023 Spring Quarterly Journal.


County Exec. Joe Parisi
Meets With ESU Staff

On Thursday, May 20, 2023, Dane County Executive, Joe Parisi, met with Journey's Emergency Services Unit (ESU)  to thank them for their hard work and dedication to the people they help in the community. He learned how they answer every call that comes in which equates to approximately 44,000 calls a year. Hannah Flanagan, Director of ESU, Sarah Henrickson, Clinical Team Manager – First Responder Liaison, and Kelsey Schroeder Gasser, Clinical Coordinator – Youth Crisis, all shared examples of how ESU staff are saving lives every day.

Front row from left to right: Tanya Lettman-Shue, Nichole Wright, & Lexi Schmidgall. Back row from Left to right: Sarah Henrickson, Kelsey Schroeder Gasser, Hannah Flanagan, Lea Gardiner, Joe Parisi, Toni Rufledt, Reuben Westmaas, & Caleb Pedersen.


From left to right: Nichole Wright, Chief Clinical Officer, and Nelsie Stern, Associate Director of School Based Services

Journey Presents at Sun Prairie’s
“Get Connected” Event

Journey recently presented at the Sun Prairie Wellness Coalition ‘Get Connected’ event. Members of the community were invited to learn more about local mental health resources available in the community. The Behavioral Health Resource Center (BHRC) and independent practitioners also spoke at the event. Afterward, a Q&A panel took place. Many were interested in hearing more about our school-based services such as the REST program.


Snow Carving at Yahara House

On Monday, March 13th, Jim Malkowski, a member of the Wisconsin snow sculpting team called “Up to Snow Good”, returned to Yahara House once again to help lead a snow sculpting project. Malkowski first came to Yahara House in 2021 to make a snow sculpture. This year’s sculpture was of a catfish in honor of Yahara House. For those that don’t know, the word ‘Yahara’ means ‘Catfish’. Check out video footage that was taken by Madison Newspapers about the event.

Members working on the sculpture with Jim


New Journey Brochure 

Journey has a new brochure! Featuring stunning cover art by our very own Torry Dulle, Clinic-Based Care Coordinator, this brochure is sure to catch your eye. Inside, you'll find contact information so you can easily get in touch with us, as well as a listing of the services we provide, and our new Mission, Vision, and Values. Whether you're seeking support for yourself or a loved one, our team is here to guide you every step of the way.  

Click on the links below to access the brochure. Please print, share, and help us spread the word about the services we provide. We’re here for you.






Learn about what Journey has to offer!

This session goes beyond the principles of Trauma Informed Care and into the specifics of the healing and recovery process.

  • We will explore both well-established evidence-based practices and emerging techniques for resolving post-traumatic stress.
  • We will review the Polyvagal Theory and take a look at how therapists have developed specific applications and protocols.
  • And, as always, we will allow time for self-care with opportunities to practice somatic-based exercises you can use yourself and share with the people you serve.

This 2-hour workshop will focus on issues of discrimination within the LGBTQ+ and how they present in the work environment. A discussion of barriers to inclusion, the impact of these barriers and applicable steps to having practices of inclusion within the workplace will also be addressed.


This training is intended to help clinicians learn best practices in suicide risk assessment. This training will offer 4.0 CE hours *NBCC/ACEP
#6760, for eligible participants. Participants will become familiar with national suicide data, and risk and protective factors for suicide. They will develop an understanding of the psychology of suicide, and learn strategies for interviewing patients, formulating risk, and responding effectively. This training includes small group breakouts to apply the information by utilizing a case example for discussion.


Humans have been practicing mindfulness and meditation for thousands of years. More recently, the mental health field acknowledged its benefits. At its core, mindfulness is a call to the present moment, to awareness, and to peace. With empirical backing, practitioners can utilize mindfulness and meditation to support consumers’ psychological, cognitive, emotional, and physical well-being. If you want to learn more about mindfulness and how to apply it in practice, this training is for you!


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