Recovery Institute of Southwest Michigan, Inc., at 1020 South Westnedge in Kalamazoo, is run entirely by peers. The nonprofit was established in 2006 on the peer support concept. The 16 staff members, with the exception of the executive director Shawn Harris, have all traveled the challenging path of recovery with various mental health and/or substance abuse issues.

Kalamazoo recording artist, producer, and songwriter Sherridan Harris returns to Keep Your Voice Down to chat with Doug and Alek ahead of Saturday’s Watershed Voice Artist Showcase. The trio discuss Sherridan a.k.a. Sherdizzil’s sophomore record “The Vine Album,” his growth as an artist and as a performer, rap and hip-hop nerdom, and how this year’s showcase will be different from last year’s show.

You may be feeling sad, or lonely, or overwhelmed, or just confused about what to do next. You aren’t standing on the edge of a cliff, but you could really use someone to talk to. For you, a new initiative in Southwest Michigan, called the Warmline, was established in October 2021 by three local nonprofits: Gryphon Place, ASK Family Services, and Southwest Michigan Behavioral Health. 

Local author, Watershed Voice columnist, and limited licensed psychologist Charles Thomas returns to Keep Your Voice Down to discuss mental health options in Southwest Michigan, his book Headcase (The Remix), his daughter’s high school graduation party, the genius of Erin Schultes, and Josh Brolin and Al Pacino’s avid listenership of KYVD. Doug, Alek, and Charles also break down the lineup for the upcoming Watershed Voice Artist Showcase.

This story was originally published by MLive and is part of the Mental Wellness Project, a solutions-oriented journalism initiative covering mental health issues in southwest Michigan, created by the Southwest Michigan Journalism Collaborative. SWMJC is a group of 13 regional organizations (including Watershed Voice) dedicated to strengthening local journalism. For more info, visit swmichjournalism.com.

The Latinx LGBTQ+ community in Michigan often faces the struggles of two communities at the same time. In the Latinx community, they find themselves ostracized and their identities a taboo, while in the LGBT community they find themselves underrepresented in organizations geared primarily toward white community members. Despite these struggles, several LGBT Latinx people have struggled to make their voices heard and their issues known, defying systemic bias and cultural taboos alike to be who they are.