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Agency to RISE with redefined mission

By Kayleigh Rahn
The individuals behind Douglas County Mental Health work tirelessly to help their clients RISE above the battles they face. And starting this month, the name of the agency will reflect that mission, as Douglas County Mental becomes RISE Behavioral Health and Wellness.

Executive director Lauren Christina invited community members to the agency, 114 W. Houghton in Tuscola, Monday, Feb. 25 to learn about the renaming and rebranding that will include, not only, a new face but new programs within the agency, as well. With the rebranding, the agency is in the process of applying for a license to provide substance abuse treatment.

“We know that is a big need in this community, and this community has been asking for it,” Christina said. “We are also looking into programs to serve veterans and the elderly to help out with those populations, as well. We are looking forward to partnering with other agencies to help serve this great community.”

With input from the Douglas County Mental Health Board, Christina came to the conclusion that there is a stigma around the agency.

“There is a stigma throughout the community about us and what we do and who comes to receive our services,” Christina said. “I can’t tell you how many people ask to see the padded room. I hate to break it to you, but there isn’t one.”

The board has considered the name change for about one year, she said, and she hopes that the agency is associated with wellness as much as it is in helping those with mental illness.

“We have many future community programs in mind that we are looking forward to rolling out, but one thing we wanted to do is bring people to us,” Christina said. “We don’t want the community to associate us as just the people who serve the people who are mentally ill. While that is a very important part of what we do, that is certainly not all that we do. We also help the people going through the divorce, the parents who have a hard time parenting their children, and some people who just need an ear to listen to.”

The full story can be found in the March 6, 2019 edition of The Tuscola Journal.

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