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Oaklawn  Oaklawn is the community mental health center for Elkhart and St. Joseph counties in northern Indiana.

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Do you know a kid who often has negative thoughts? Check out this video about thoughts and how we can change them. http://ow.ly/Nv1c30g03JU (clickable link in profile)

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Let’s celebrate #TribeTuesday! Nate Marcotte is Oaklawn’s manager of housing services. He’s also a health guru. Nate lost 120 pounds in his 20s. Since then, he’s taken up running, triathlons, yoga, pilates, adventure sports and Jiu-Jitsu, and he continues to pursue a healthy lifestyle today. He’s even a certified yoga instructor who volunteers to lead sessions with Yoga on the Green, Camp Mariposa and Oaklawn. Nate was an executive in the telecom industry for most of his professional life, but changed careers a few years ago after building a home in Michigan to be closer to his folks. (Yes, he built it himself, and it’s actually the fifth house he’s built.) He started at Oaklawn as a skills trainer, but his management experience quickly led him to take the manager position with housing services. He discovered a passion for social work and is even going back to school for his MSW. Being a vice president in the telecom industry was more lucrative “and I felt like I was rewarded every two weeks on payday,” he says. “But now I feel like every day is rewarding.”

We want to wish a happy anniversary to our president and CEO, Laurie Nafziger. Today marks 30 years since Laurie first joined Oaklawn! On October 1, 2006, Laurie became the third president to lead our organization. In her 11 years at the helm, Oaklawn has seen many changes, including expanding in St. Joseph County, doubling the number of campuses, clients and employees. What started as a two-week project developing a grant in 1987 has led to a lifetime of service in our community and a steadfast commitment to top-notch mental health and addiction treatment. Thank you, Laurie, for all that you do, and for inspiring us all to “go forth and do good.”

Thanks to everyone who came out to A Natural High with @mattbellace It’s been a great night full of laughs and learning. The best combo!

#TribeTuesday is here again! Margaret Dickey is an adult therapist at Oaklawn’s Elkhart campus. A few years back, she enjoyed 15 minutes of fame as a contestant on “The Price is Right.” She was called last in the panel of four, which gave her a bit of an advantage: She made it to the stage by bidding $1 over the previous contestant. “I felt bad when it was an actual person, but you gotta play the game,” she said. She went on to win $10,000 in the Pay the Rent game, but lost in the Showdown Showcase. (If you’re curious, she used her winnings to remodel her bathroom.) That trip wasn’t Margaret’s first time in Los Angeles; she interned there as a Master of Social Work student. Although she’s an adult therapist now, Margaret has spent a lot of time working with DCS families, which has inspired her to write a children’s book. “Families involved in DCS, they’re going through something profoundly painful,” she said. “I worked with a lot of families where they had a lot of love for each other, but it just didn’t work out.” She’s still in the writing phase of the project, but hopes it will help kids deal with being separated from their families “and how to draw something positive from that experience.”

Everyone attending will receive these awesome notecards with artwork provided by people living with mental illness in our community. We have serious talent around here!

All ready for our luncheon to support Oaklawn services. Thanks to all of our sponsors!

Join Oaklawn for Mental Illness Awareness Week 2017, we have our luncheon tomorrow at the Palais Royale and our community event on Wednesday evening in Mishawaka (link in bio for info about Wed night) #breakthestigma

This #TribeTuesday, (or, Thursday) 😄meet Kayona Blackwood, team leader for adult case management at our South Bend campus. Kayona is originally from Jamaica, where she worked as an accountant. “But I hated the office, and I love people,” she said. So she returned to school for a bachelor’s degree in social work. In Jamaica, the mental health system is practically non-existent. There are no community mental health centers, and those with mental illness who are treated in the hospital are usually only treated for physical injuries suffered at the hands of others and rarely received psychotropic medications. Kayona volunteered at the hospital back in her home country. “Back home, to see how people treated those with serious mental illness, it was really, really sad,” she said. She came to the U.S. for her Master of Social Work, and began an internship at Oaklawn. She saw how staff try to help clients get involved in the community, “to help them get housing, to get a job, to help them help themselves. It’s just priceless,” she said.

We're so inspired by this #MotivationMonday! Oaklawn client Sheldon Yoder shares his journey and inspiration for recovery: "I didn’t know I had ADHD until my late 30s. I was married at the time. I’d get a speeding ticket once or twice a year or get in accidents because I wasn’t paying attention to what I was doing. A relative happens to work here at Oaklawn. He said I should come in for an evaluation and I was diagnosed. The meds I use really, really help. They help me stay focused. I’m proud that I’m able to stick it out in the same place with my kids and stay at my job for six years. There’s a lot of guys that jump ship. I’m not going to do that. I’ve stayed at my church. There’s people who care about me and love me. I’m stronger now to handle more of what life throws at me because I know I’m not alone. And I will continue to get up time and time again because there are people who count on me."

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