By Tanya Lettman-Shue, Chief Executive Officer

Oftentimes, when I have had the opportunity to speak with community members regarding Journey, either the person I’m talking to, their family member, or a friend, has received services from one of Journey’s many programs. They are not, however, always aware of the wider and more comprehensive array of services offered by Journey or the number of partnerships Journey has with local organizations.

Although Journey is Dane County’s largest specialty behavioral health care provider, it is not “an island unto itself.” In reality, Journey is part of a larger safety net in the Dane County community. Not every person who obtains services at Journey will go on to receive long-term care with a Journey provider. At times, we are a starting point for care through our Emergency Services Unit which includes our 24/7 Crisis Line, Crisis Stabilization, or the Community Alternative Response Emergency Services (CARES) program. An assessment or a crisis intervention provided by one of these programs may be due to a situational crisis and may prevent unnecessary incarceration or hospitalization. We work closely with first responders; police, fire, paramedics, and emergency rooms throughout Dane County to ensure that the individual receives the right level of care at the right time, and when appropriate those individuals are referred for appropriate care. 

At times, Journey is the long-term care provider for those who are living with severe mental illness and need services that can assist them in maintaining active and engaged lives in their communities. Journey’s Community Support Programs provide wrap-around care that assists individuals with maintaining their medication regimen, healthcare appointments, housing, employment, transportation, and finances. A Journey staff member is the friendly face that ensures that consumers are getting their basic needs attended to and utilizing services from community partners. Journey’s Clubhouse, Yahara House (YH) may be a beacon for someone living with a mental illness who wants a sense of community while building and working toward education and employment goals. 

Regardless of where Journey lies on the individual’s path to recovery, our ability to maintain connections in the community is imperative. We are humbled to be a part of the behavioral health care provider network in our community and value the role that our community partners play in the success of the individuals who receive care with Journey.