Are you a reporter looking to do a news story on mental health, substance use disorders, or both? Do you want to learn more about Journey and our advocacy efforts? Stay in touch with Journey.

Giant catfish rises from the ground outside Madison’s Yahara House

Source: Wisconsin State Journal – 3/14/2023

Taking advantage of a late-winter accumulation of wet, packable snow, snow sculptor Jim Malkowski teamed up with members of Journey Mental Health Center’s Yahara House to carve a giant catfish in front of the center on East Gorham Street. The center is named for the nearby Yahara River, once known as Catfish River from a native term for the fish. [Read More]

Snow sculptor Jim Malkowski & members of Journey Mental Health Center’s Yahara House program work on the giant catfish.

Madison CARES 1st Annual Year-End Report

Madison’s Community Alternative Response Emergency Services program, or CARES, is a collaboration between Madison Fire Department, Journey Mental Health, and Public Health Madison & Dane County. Click HERE to view their year-end report.

Madison CARES teams prove beneficial in first year of service

“Every crisis is different and unique. There’s no cookie cutter way to treat somebody,” said Eric Kinderman, a Community Mental Health Crisis Co-Responder & Mental Health Technician with Journey Mental Health and the CARES program. Click HERE to read more.

Journey’s Director of Clinic-Based Programs Interviewed for Quarterly Magazine

Tyson Rittenmeyer, Director of Clinic-Based programs, was recently interviewed by Quarterly Magazine* for an article about helping those in recovery quit smoking. Click HERE to read the article.

*Quarterly Magazine is published four times a year by the Wisconsin Medical Alumni Association and UW School of Medicine and Public Health and includes news, alumni profiles, student-life stories, class notes, and more. This article is being shared with permission from Quarterly Magazine.

Journey’ Chief Clinical Officer Interviewed for BRAVA Magazine

Journey’s Chief Clinical Officer, Nichole Wright, was recently interviewed for a feature in BRAVA magazine regarding employee mental health. Click HERE to read the article.

Journey’s Yahara House Program Welcomes Art Lovers on Spring Gallery Night

Mark your calendars! Yahara House, a program of Journey Mental Health Center, located at 802 E. Gorham St., will open its doors to the public on May 6 as part of Spring Gallery Night. Read all about it HERE!

Journey to Discontinue Bayside Care Center & Recovery House Programs

Read the press release HERE.

Madison’s Mental Health Crisis-Response Program Expands Citywide

A Madison pilot program that sends paramedics and crisis workers to mental health emergencies in lieu of police is now answering calls citywide as officials hope to expand the alternative to law enforcement in the months ahead.

Journey Featured in BRAVA Magazine Interview 

Recently, Tanya Lettman-Shue and a participant from the Dane County OWI Treatment Court program were interviewed for an article for BRAVA Magazine regarding recovery. You can read the article HERE.

Madison CARES Initiative Begins September 1, 2021

Submitted by Becky Eberhardt, Information Management Specialist 

Below is a message from Reuben Sanon, Deputy Mayor City of Madison, regarding the new Community Alternative Response for Emergency Services (CARES) program. The CARES team will consist of a paramedic and a Journey Mental Health Center crisis worker who will respond to 911 calls in a marked minivan. These teams are trained and equipped to respond to non-violent behavioral health emergency calls that do not require law enforcement.







Dear colleagues and community members,

I am very excited to share that on September 1 a new City service will launch.

The Community Alternative Response for Emergency Services (CARES) van will be Madison’s mental health mobile response unit that, through 911 dispatch, will respond to nonviolent behavioral health emergencies.

Attached is the press release announcing the launch of CARES and below is a link to view the press conference where the Mayor, Fire Chief, and Police Chief spoke about the virtues of this coming initiative. I’ve also included coverage from Channel 3000, and Channel 27 and would appreciate any sharing of this exciting moment in the community through your networks.

Press Conference –

Channel 27 –

Channel 3000 –

This is the first phase of CARES is a pilot in the Downtown only, and through this process we will continue to learn and refine how best to deliver this service to our Madison community. Insight and feedback from community members has been crucial in getting to this point. Continued community voice is welcomed and encouraged so please reach out to Reuben Sanon on my staff if you have ideas or concerns.

The City of Madison has embarked on a perhaps lifesaving measure with this initiative and certainly one our community has called on us to deliver.

Thank you for your support!

Read: Journey Mental Health Center Supports Athletes Prioritizing Their Mental Health 

The Big Reveal at Yahara House

Over the weekend Yahara House was busy preparing blocks of snow to be used as the foundation for a snow sculpture. On Monday, Yahara House members and staff and award winning snow sculptor Jim Malkowski worked together to build a snow sculpture to welcome in spring. The result was a catfish! Click HERE to watch a time lapsed video of the project. The catfish can be seen in front of Yahara House at 802 E. Gorham Street in Madison.


Contact: Rebecca Eberhardt
Title: Information Management Specialist
Organization:  Journey Mental Health Center
Phone: (608) 280-2420

Dr. Armando Hernández Joins Journey Mental Health Center
as New Chief Diversity Officer

Madison, Wisconsin, November 3, 2020: Lynn Brady, Journey Mental Health Center’s CEO, announced today that Dr. Armando Hernández has been hired as the agency’s new Chief Diversity Officer, effective January 5, 2021.

Dr. Hernández will be joining the agency from the Madison Metropolitan School District, where he is currently Assistant Director of Integrated Health. He began his career at Journey Mental Health Center working as a Child & Family Specialist. He has worked in various community-based settings, assisting professionals and organizations in their organizational development and implementation of evidence-based practices. He is known as a dynamic and engaging speaker and trainer. He completed his Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has been involved in numerous diversity and equity initiatives throughout his career.

Furthermore, Dr. Hernández has experience in the areas of mental health, education, and healthcare. He specializes in the areas of culturally responsive practice, behavioral health consultation, and equity. He has provided numerous workshops and academic courses in the areas of equity, behavioral health, and collaborative approaches to mental health.

Journey Mental Health Center is very excited about Dr. Hernández joining our team and bringing his diversity and inclusion expertise to the agency.

Statement of Support
June 6, 2020

Journey Mental Health Center recognizes the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery are only the most recent examples of horrific violence against Black individuals in this country. These events invoke feelings ofrighteous anger, despair, and fear, which spur calls to action nationwide and right here in Dane County. Journey echoes the voices of those most loudly calling for societal transformation and equal justice.

Guided by our core values of diversity, respect, and Hope, Journey commits to the following actions to combat racism and promote wellness for communities of color:

  • Stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement
  • Listen and respond to the needs of local organizations dedicated to equal justice
  • Strengthen the support available to staff members of color through listening sessions, staff recruitment, and training opportunities
  • Continue to improve culturally-responsive services for consumers of color
  • Continue to provide and expand trainings on privilege, implicit bias, and institutional and systemic racism
  • Utilize partnerships with local government and law enforcement to advocate for needed reforms
  • Provide public communications about specific plans as they are developed to ensure accountability


With humility and resolve, Journey will continue to learn and build upon our history of leadership in social justice.
-Journey Mental Health Center

“It’s up to all of us – Black, white, everyone – no matter how well-meaning we think we might be, to do the honest, uncomfortable work of rooting it out.”  -Michelle Obama

Local Physician Organizes All-New Beat The Blues Cruise Race In Memory Of Father

MADISON, WI (Jan. 24, 2019) – An all-new 5K run/walk and 10K run is coming to Middleton, and proceeds will go toward Journey Mental Health Center and the National Suicide Text Line for suicide prevention efforts.

Beat the Blues Cruise, organized by OB/GYN physician Kris Bathke of SSM Health Dean Medical Group, is set for Saturday, April 6 at the Keva Sports Center, 312 Forsythia Street in Middleton. Cost is $40 for the 5K Run/Walk and $50 for the 10K run. The race includes a DJ; photo booth; silent auction and more. To learn more or to register, visit

Kris is organizing the race and event in honor of her father, Bill Bathke, who died by suicide in June 2010.

The Bathke Family (L-R): Tricia Sagissor, Marsha Bathke, Bill Bathke, Chad Bathke, and Kris Bathke

“My father was a successful and very well-respected executive at WPS Health Solutions for more than 25 years. He was extremely dedicated to the employees there and cared about them like family. I still have people recognize my name, ask if we were related, and then sing his praises,” Kris said.

A dedicated community volunteer, Bill was a longtime Salvation Army board member who would be seen ringing the bell outside Shopko every Christmas Eve. He also served on the Monona Police and Fire Commission, participated in the Alzheimer’s Walk, and raised money for diabetes while riding his Harley Davidson.

“Most of all he loved his family,” Kris said. “He married my mom when she was 19 and he was 20. They were together until he died. His children and grandchildren were the highlight of his life. He worked long hours when I was young, but made up for it by spending extra time with my kids. He would never have done anything to hurt them, which made me realize how sick he was.

“He was an amazing, kind and humble man. I looked up to him and aspire to be like him,” she said. “I just wish he would have known he could reach out … that there were people who could help. If we can make others aware and save even one life, this event will be more than worth it!”

Kris has been working hard to secure sponsors for the race. So far, WPS Health Solutions, Harbor Athletic Club, RBC Royal Bank, Prairie Clinic, Fleet Feet Sports, and NXTLVL Sport & Fitnessare supporting the event. If you know of a business that would like to serve as a sponsor, contact Kris at

Media interested in talking to Kris may call Rebecca Eberhardt, Journey’s Program Coordinator, at 608-280-2420.

Opioid epidemic is not just a ‘big city’ problem, say Columbia County, Wisconsin leaders

MADISON, Wisconsin – Dec. 21, 2018 – The opioid epidemic is in rural areas … like Columbia County. In the span of seven days this summer, six people overdosed and two people died – in just one week! They are seeing higher rates of opioid prescriptions dispensed, higher rates of Narcan administration, higher rates of drug related hospital encounters, more children being born with substances in their system and increasing numbers of children placed in out of home care.

A special task force of citizens, health providers, first responders, law enforcement officials and Columbus Community Hospital, Wisconsin was formed to address the opioid epidemic in Columbia County. The task force established a mission focusing on education, including a series of videos to spread the message. Check out the powerful videos here.

Journey’s Columbia County Community Support Program, based in Portage, Wisconsin, helps individuals living with serious mental illness manage their medications, and offers employment and housing assistance. Learn more here.

Journey Mental Health Center goes tobacco-free, receives MAC Award from WINTIP

MADISON, Wisconsin – Dec. 10, 2018 – Journey Mental Health Center received a Mac Award for its efforts to make its headquarters in Madison a tobacco-free and vape-free campus starting September 15, 2017.

The award, named for David “Mac” Macmaster, co-founder and managing consultant of the Wisconsin Nicotine Treatment Integration Project (WiNTiP), is presented to honor a health-care organization that helps its behavioral health patients live tobacco free.

WiNTiP is a collaboration between the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and UW-CTRI

Read more here.

Celebrity Chef Jaques Pépin to host Oct. 5 fundraiser to benefit Journey

Sept. 27, 2018 – Internationally known celebrity Chef Jacques Pépin is coming to Madison to celebrate our area’s culinary community. Among many events, Jacques is hosting an Oct. 5 2018 fundraising dinner to benefit Journey Mental Health Center at Sardine. While the event is sold out, you can enter a raffle for a chance to win two tickets to the event and a $10 gift certificate to Sardine. Click here and follow the green ticket button to purchase your raffle tickets.

Major event sponsors include Exact Sciences, Park Bank, Isthmus, and 5Nines.

Journey to close Kajsiab House

MADISON, Wisconsin – Aug. 9, 2018 –  Journey Mental Health Center regrettably announces today that a funding change requires the closing of a critical program for the Dane County Hmong community. Many Dane County Hmong fought for the United States during the Vietnam War and many more were refugee camp survivors.  Most of these people suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD.

MTM, the Medicaid transportation provider for the state of Wisconsin, terminated its contract with Journey in February of 2018.  The loss of this revenue has had a devastating impact on the program’s budget.

Journey will close the nationally known Kajsiab House program effective September 28, 2018.

Kajsiab House is a program designed specifically for Hmong refugees living with PTSD and other trauma related issues.

“This is a devastating event for Journey and the Dane County community,” said Journey President and CEO Lynn Brady. “It will lead to the loss of jobs, as well as badly needed services for a very vulnerable population of people that supported our country during the war.”

Journey is working with Kajsiab House to find ways of providing services to the Hmong people attending Kajsiab House.  Brady says “Journey’s Kajsiab House is a nationally recognized model that provides culturally sensitive services for the Hmong people. Reinventing those services, in a western based model of care, will fall far short of meeting the needs of these individuals.”

Lynn Brady can be reached at  or by phone at (608) 280-2561, or cell at (608) 217-9073.

Journey Mental Health Center, at 25 Kessel Court, Madison, 53711 serves more than 12,000 individuals in its 29 programs in two counties. Clients suffer from a range of health issues from PTSD to serious mental illness. Founded on Nov. 16, 1948 as the Dane County Child Guidance Center with six employees, Journey has grown into a large community mental health clinic with over 400 staff members. We are dedicated to innovation and cutting-edge programs that provide culturally sensitive services.  Journey provides a continuum of services to individuals across the lifespan.

Journey Mental Health Center collaborates with clients, Adams Outdoor on high-profile mental health stigma campaign

MADISON, Wisconsin – May 10, 2018 – Journey Mental Health Center and Adams Outdoor Collaborate are partnering together to fight the stigma of mental illness and addiction in a unique high-profile year-long billboard campaign“This is my Journey”featuring five people, all whom live with serious mental illness or addiction including severe anxiety, bipolar disorder, psychosis, and alcoholism. The creative centers on the individuals as proud people: An attorney, a mom, a pastry chef, a videographer, and an honors graduate.


  • Research shows that individuals who openly talk about their illness have better recovery outcomes.
  • The outdoor campaign is being supplemented with dozens more people participating in Journey social media and print efforts, and in the organization’s new annual report.
  • Adams Outdoor Advertising is donating the creative, production and space rental for the billboards through their nonprofit program, The Adams Collaborate Program. The donation includes two large bulletin-size and five poster-size billboards valued at $250,000.
  • The campaign is being led by chair Pooja Mehta, a Duke University graduate and Journey volunteer who lives with serious anxiety. “I’m proud of how far I’ve come, and how far I’ll be going,” she says.
  • 18.1 percent of Americans live with serious mental illness, including depression, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Mental Health Awareness Month has been celebrated in the U.S. annually since 1949.

The first billboard was installed Friday, May 11 at 9 a.m. across from Nonn’s Flooring, located at the corner of Grabor Road and Permenter Street in Middleton. Other billboards will begin popping up in Madison during May.

U.S. drug overdose deaths continue to rise; increase fueled by synthetic opioids

April 4, 2018 – 2016 U.S. drug overdose data shows that America’s overdose epidemic is spreading geographically and increasing across demographic groups, according to recent research conducted by the Centers for Disease Control. Read more here

Watch For New Medicare Cards

MADISON, Wisconsin – March 12, 2018 – New Medicare cards are coming  between April 2018 and April 2019. The new card has a Medicare Number unique to you, instead of your Social Security Number. Your new card will automatically come to you—just make sure Social Security has your most up-to-date address.

Watch this video to learn more.

For more information, visit

Wisconsin State Journal takes a look at community mental health challenges

MADISON, Wisconsin – Feb. 12, 2018 – Journey Crisis Worker Sarah Henrickson was featured in the Feb. 12, 2018 Wisconsin State Journal story, “Police beef up response to mental illness in Dane County” that  highlights Journey’s longtime partnership with the Madison Police Department. Hannah Flanagan, Journey’s director of emergency services, was quoted extensively in the Feb. 11, 2018 Wisconsin State Journal story, “Dane County explores mental health crisis restoration center to curb incarceration.”

Learn about military moral injury at February 13 Veterans Education Series

MADISON, Wisconsin – Jan. 20, 2018 – Returning veterans, and those who care for them, are struggling to understand and respond effectively when experiences of war result in levels of anguish, anger, and alienation not well explained in terms of mental health diagnoses such as post-traumatic stress disorder.
Join Sarah Francois, Program Manager, Madison VA Hospital Mental Health Clinic, for an “Introduction to Military Moral Injury” at our next Veterans Education Series, set for Feb. 13, 9-11 a.m. at Journey, 25 Kessel Court.
Reserve your seat today by calling 608-280-2408 or emailing

February 2018 Connect

Journey’s fight against the opioid crisis

You’ve been hearing about the opiate crisis right here in Dane County and across the nation as lawmakers grapple with how to deal with the crisis that is tearing families apart.

Did you know that opiate-related deaths in Dane County grew from 13 deaths in 2000 to 85 deaths in 2016?

That’s a 653 percent increase from 2000.

“People in Dane County are battling an insidious addiction,” says Drew Van Hyfte, clinical team leader of Journey’s Medication Assisted Therapy Program. “Individuals may feel like they are kicking their opiate problem – and they are kicking it – but if they decide to re-use after being clean and sober they are putting themselves at great risk.”


Drew Van Hyfte

Drew explains drug tolerance levels actually decrease during sobriety, resulting in an increased risk for overdose. “When a person relapses, the individual is likely to turn to the same dose as before – and that’s when an overdose crisis occurs,” he says.

How Is Journey Working To Solve The Opiate Crisis?

Journey offers two tracks for Medication Assisted Therapy, including our Suboxone Program and our Vivitrol Program. These programs use cutting-edge medications that reduce drug cravings and give people a chance at recovery.

Journey’s Suboxone Program, formed in 2012 serves people who may be in active withdrawal or are currently using daily. Forty-four people are currently engaged in the program.

Journey’s Vivitrol Program is for people who have been clean seven to 10 days. Most referrals to this program come from the Dane County Jail. Thirty-nine people are engaged in the Vivitrol Program today.

Getting people in treatment immediately from the jail has played a role in reducing the overdose rate upon jail release. “We are able to get inmates their first injection while they are in the jail, usually from a minor drug-related charge,” Drew says. “This gives them 28 days – the length the injection lasts – to engage in treatment.”

The program has seen 432 referrals since February 2016. That’s roughly 18 referrals a month.

Journey’s Medication Assisted Therapy Programs are another example of how Journey responds to serious community health issues with effective, affordable and person-centric treatment.

If you, or a loved one you know, is struggling with an opiate addiction, please call Journey’s Central Intake Line at (608) 280-2720.


  • In 2015, received 4-year, $1.6 million Primary Care Behavioral Health Integration Grant from SAMHSA to integrate mental health and primary care services for 326 targeted adults with severe and persistent mental illness and co-occurring substance use disorders. The grant funds the Journey to Health and Wellness Program.
  • We have achieved an international reputation for the cost and clinical effectiveness of our community based service model for individuals with complex mental health problems.
  • We were the first in Wisconsin to provide 24/7 professional mobile crisis intervention services and to combine alcohol and other substance abuse services in the same program.
  • We have been acknowledged as a national model for wrap around child/family services, elderly outreach services and jail diversion services for the mentally ill.
  • Our employees are offered over 200 hours of agency sponsored training annually.
  • We are an official training site for the University of Wisconsin (Psychiatry, Social Work, Nursing, Psychology, Psychological Rehabilitation and Pharmacy) and Edgewood College (Family Counseling and Nursing).

Funding & Grants

  • JMHC is the largest provider of mental health and substance abuse services for Dane County.
  • 68 percent of funding comes from Dane County Department of Human Services – Mental Health/AODA Services.
  • Contracts/Grants
    • SAMHSA-Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, $1.6 million total, or $400,000 over 4 years
    • State of Wisconsin Department of Health Services, info coming
    • United Way of Dane County, info coming
    • City of Madison, info coming
    • University of Wisconsin, info coming
    • Others, info coming


  • 540 staff members including clinicians, social workers, nurses, support staff, and students.

By The Numbers

  • In 2017, 12,208 people were treated in Outpatient Services and Community Support Programs.
  • In 2015, 4,834 people received assessments in Central Intake, OWI Assessment Program and in our Jail Diversion Program.

Type of Clients

  • Adult, Mental Health Needs – 73%
  • Youth (18 and under) – 16%
  • Adult, Alcohol/Drug – 11%


  • Caucasian – 58%
  • African American – 14%
  • Unknown – 13%
  • Hispanic – 7%
  • Multiracial – 5%
  • Asian – 4%
  • Native American < 1%


  • 19-39 – 45%
  • 40-59 ­– 28%
  • 0-12 – 8%
  • 13-18 – 8%
  • 60+ – 9%
  • Unknown – 3%


  • Male – 54%
  • Female – 45%
  • Unknown < 1%
  • Accreditations: CARF International; Clubhouse International
  • Certified by the State of Wisconsin, Department of Health Services; Division of Quality Assurance


  • One of the first private non-profit child guidance centers in the state of Wisconsin to seek and receive public funding, thus establishing a model for future collaborations between the private/public sector.

1950s — 1960s

  • The organization played a significant role in community education/prevention, including radio and televised educational programs — some running for 20 years. In fact, one program was considered the second most popular series on Wisconsin Educational TV.


  • Played a key role in developing Dane County’s comprehensive community-based mental health services for adults with serious persistent mental illnesses, including a 24-hour mobile crisis intervention service, after a panel of three federal judges declared Wisconsin’s commitment laws to be unconstitutional.
  • Awarded a Law Enforcement Assistance Act Grant to develop an innovative drug treatment program, combing the efforts of law enforcement and counseling staff. In addition, merger of alcohol and drug services gives agency the first combined substance abuse treatment program in Wisconsin.


  • National Institute of Mental Health identifies Dane County service system as a “model community support program” and designates the Mental Health Center as the National CSP Resource Center for the United States based on their role/expertise in the service system.
  • Recognized by the National Institute of Mental Health as a leader in providing innovate outreach to services to seniors and chosen to be a national training site.

1990s — 2000s

  • A $2.5 million four-year grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation allows the agency’s youth/family services to create a nationally recognized, and duplicated wrap around system of care for youth with serious emotional disabilities – a system that promotes the natural resources and strengths of families.
  • First in the state to employ a Fountain House Model for day treatment services. It is recognized by the Wisconsin State Legislature as one of the most successful psychiatric rehabilitation programs, and is certified by the International Center for Clubhouse Development.
  • Awarded a $1.6 million, four-year federal grant to improve treatment services for children and adolescents who have experienced trauma, thus joining a new coalition of treatment centers across the country dedicated to addressing the profound, destructive, and widespread impact of trauma on the lives of youth
  • Kajsiab House formed to serve Hmong Elders in Dane County.


  • Received $1.6 million SAMSHA federal grant to provide primary care services to individuals with severe and persistent mental illness and co-occurring substance use disorders.
  • Opened a full service pharmacy in partnership with Genoa, a national pharmaceutical provider.
  • PROPs short for Promoting Recovery from the Onset of Psychosis. This intensive program is aimed at young adults, ages 15-25, who have experienced their first episode psychosis. We also began ramping up our Comprehensive Community Services, a state funded program that will help enable us to offer wrap around services to individuals living with mental illness in Dane County.
  • Received a $1.6 million SAMHSA grant to provide primary care services to Journey clients with severe and persistent mental illness and/or co-occurring substance use disorders. Three hundred- sixty individuals will receive services over the four-year period, thanks to the grant and to Group Health Cooperative of South Central Wisconsin and UnityPoint Health-Meriter, who will be providing the services of highly skilled Advanced Practice Nurse Practitioners to help consumers manage their chronic diseases.

One of our top priorities is to protect consumer privacy and individually identifiable health information. We follow the privacy requirements of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 and existing Wisconsin law.

Consumers, or individuals receiving services from Journey Mental Health Center, must give specific authorization for the disclosure of their protected health information.

Journey’s media relations policy ensures federal patient privacy standards are upheld for all of our consumers. A staff member must accompany all reporters and photographers while on Journey Mental Health Center property.  Reporters, videographers, still photographers and other media interested in coming to Journey Mental Health Center must first contact Journey’s associate director of communications.

Media Contact

Rebecca Eberhardt: (608) 280-2420