By Sterling McGinn

Located in the Masonic building on Newberry Avenue, the Tahqua Journey drop-in center offers a safe and relaxing environment for its members. The center is funded for adults with a mental illness, no matter how slight.

Members are provided with a wide variety of activities and support, along with the encouragement of self-help and mutual support.

Formerly known as Rainbows End, the reorganized center opened on October 1, 2018.  Newberry native Lisa Thompson became the center’s director.

“I consider myself fortunate to be chosen as director,” declared Thompson. “It is a resource for the entire Luce County catchment area.”

Thompson said her goal is to promote recovery and reduce the stigma that comes with mental illness. She assists members with local resources including jobs, housing and food.

Membership is open to any person 18 years of age and older who have experienced a mental illness, past or present. The most common metal illnesses include: depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and OCD.

Members visiting the center have the opportunity to participate in support and recovery groups, and to listen to guest speakers.  Other activities available include: painting classes, gardening, pool, arts and crafts, board games, holiday parties and outings.

Members who frequent the center describe Tahqua Journey as a place the feels like home and where you can find and be a friend.

Patrons can relax in the quiet room, where they can sit and read a book next to the fireplace. Internet with Wi-Fi, DVDs, newspapers and magazine are some of the resources available. Recent additions to the center include a workout area with equipment, a juice bar with fresh-squeezed juice, and all supplies needed for painting and making jewelry.

“I am really excited about the new workout equipment,” said Thompson. “It helps our members mentally and physically.”

The center can provide dial-a-ride tickets to individuals who meet criteria.

Tahqua Journey is open Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. with all COVID-19 safety measures in affect. For more information, call 293-9451.