Recovering from mental illness is not something that can be done alone. Through this peer support program, members work with counselors and volunteers who can empathize with the feelings and symptoms of mental illness because most of them have been there.
Mikey Coffman is one of the volunteers.
After being diagnosed with bipolar disorder and spending several years "severely mentally ill. I thought mental illness was a dead end and that I would be chained to a wall somewhere," Ms. Coffman said.
She credits a strong support group of friends and church members for giving her the strength and learning tools to overcome it. Now she wants to do the same for others.
"It's all about paying it forward," she said. "It was done for me and I just want to give back what I received."
She knows the program works, citing the experience of a Friendship Center client who came to her after his mother died.
"He not only took care of the situation but told us which tools he used to get through his mama's death,'' she said. "That's all about Friendship. That's what we do."
WHAT: Friendship Community Center, a nonprofit organization funded by United Way
THE MISSION: Help adults recovering from mental and emotional disabilities practice life skills in a safe, homelike environment.
WHAT YOU CAN DO: Donations of clothing, household goods, personal items and computers in good condition are sought. Call (706) 736-4339, or send an e-mail to friendship firstname.lastname@example.org