There are eight Peer Run Recovery Centers in the State funded by a Mental Health Block Grant; The Gathering Place in Green Bay, Cornucopia in Madison, RAVE Recovery Avenue in La Crosse, Wellness Shack in Eau Claire, NAMI of Washington Co. in West Bend, Friendship Connections in Adams/Friendship, Horizons of Jefferson Co. in Fort Atkinson and Genesis 1990 in Ashland.
Susan Mader, Executive Director of The Gathering Place and Karen Hero, Executive Director of Cornucopia will share their expertise and give an overview of how The Gathering Place and Cornucopia have evolved from being drop-in centers to the amazing organizations they are today.
The Recovery Centers are part of a movement in Wisconsin that approaches treatment for mental illness in a non-traditional way. The centers are unique in that they are managed and staffed 100% by individuals with lived experience of mental illness. Who better to promote recovery than someone who has walked a similar path? Therefore the term “peers.”
A Recovery Center is an “evidence-based practice.” This means that scientific research has proven it to be an effective model for keeping people with serious mental illness out of inpatient hospital settings and jails.
Both The Gathering Place and Cornucopia are contracted with their respective Counties to be providers of Comprehensive Community Services, CCS. This is a State authorized Medicaid program supervised by the Department of Health Services Wisconsin and administered to the County level.
Individuals with mental illness who are enrolled in the CCS program work with Certified Peer Specialists at The Gathering Place and Cornucopia in peer mentoring. The State and County are taking more and more notice! A testimony to peer support.
All the sites offer recovery-oriented programs and activities. Cornucopia promotes recovery mainly through the Fine Arts. Cornucopia offers classes in acrylic painting, water color, drawing, sculpture, pottery and so much more! If you visit their site in Downtown Madison, you will see a gallery of creations on the walls and throughout the center.
Both The Gathering Place and Cornucopia have come a long way, celebrating 22 years of continuous and successful operation. All the centers have come a long way. As you travel about Wisconsin, make a point to visit these impressive sites! One day we hope to have more than eight sites to serve more areas, reaching out to more people.