The Affinity House in Centreville is part of a national network of clubhouses offering community support. Research shows the programs are a cost-effective way to reduce incarceration, homelessness and psychiatric hospitalization among people with severe mental illness, and also improves employment rates, social connections, and well-being among participants.

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.

The year is 2007, Jack is psychiatrically stable and living in his own apartment, finally starting to put his life back together five years after his first psychotic break. Jack was forced to drop out of college after struggling with his mental illness. He became angry, hateful, and bitter. But 2007 seems like it might be the year that Jack turns the corner into recovery. However, when Jack finds a dead body and becomes the prime suspect in a murder, it isn’t just his recovery that’s put at risk. It’s his life.

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.

As of Sept. 16, more than 5.5 million children have been infected by the virus since the start of the pandemic. That represents more than 15% of the total cases, according to Dr. Lee Beers, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics. More than 21,000 children have been hospitalized, a rate that’s 2.5 to 3 times higher than flu-related hospitalizations, Beers testified.

Watershed’s Amy East writes, “My brain, bless its little heart, is probably (and maybe optimistically) described as organized chaos at any given moment. Where my husband thrives in an environment that’s as close to sterile as possible, my office (house?) currently has piles of somewhat related materials scattered throughout. And I know where everything is so that, when I need it, I can find it. It drives my husband nuts. I wouldn’t say I run on pure chaos, because pure chaos has me in this particular place and time, but I also fight structure. I’m complicated, what can I say?”