VAN WERT - Challenged Higher Drop In and Peer Support Center will be holding an open house on Friday, Jan. 31, from 1:00-4:00 p.m. to recognize the new management of the facility. Refreshments will be served, and those attending will have the opportunity to view or participate in an actually GAINS group session.

“I really encourage those who support mental health wellness, need help, know someone who may need help, or want to see what is going on in their own community to come visit the center during the open house and see what we have to offer,” said Director Megan Sanderson.

Challenged Higher’s central goal is to provide support, cooperation, and education in recovery from brain disorders, mental illness, and other disabilities, to those in Mercer, Paulding, and Van Wert Counties. Participants have the opportunity to cooperate with group organizations and agencies that work to promote and provide mental health recovery, advocacy, and wellness.

“Providing peer support is a main focus at the center,” noted Sanderson. “We are hoping that the open house in January will get people interested in these services that we offer and see what we really do.”

The center also assists members of the community in getting and maintaining government benefits as they apply to mental and physicality health conditions. Several common benefit services assisted with include Medicare, Medicaid, SSI, SSDI, food stamps, housing, and payee services.

Programs offered at the center vary greatly from a women victims support group, Bible studies, bingo, reading groups, cooking groups, to informational topics such as relationships, empowerment, me and my money, and personal responsibility.

The center also provides professional certification in WRAP, WISE, and Bridge. Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) is developed for those who experience mental health challenges and helps people to personally identify what makes them well and maintain this wellness. WISE is a benefits education program for those seeking outside help due to the challenges of a mental illness. Bridge is a mental health education program used to identify and spread awareness of mental illness and wellness.

Challenged Higher Drop In and Peer Support Center is located at 407 N. Franklin St. The center can be contacted by calling (419) 232-4584.