Providing hope for mental health recovery

Mental Health America of the Heartland (MHAH) is dedicated to improving the quality of life for those with mental illness through advocacy, education and support. To cast your vote, use the social media buttons to share this story, or leave a comment below. If the nonprofit reaches 500 votes, the $5,000 donation they’ve already earned doubles to $10,000!

MHAH provides resources, support and access to housing for people diagnosed with a mental illness in eastern Kansas and western Missouri. It helps individuals overcome barriers related to their mental health diagnosis so they can get the resources and services they need and deserve, as well as live successfully with or in spite of their illness.

 

Expanding access to housing is a big part of the organization’s work. MHAH’s Heartland Housing Initiative gives formerly homeless individuals with a mental health diagnosis a path to permanent, safe and affordable housing in 44 fully furnished homes. The services provided vary and are tailored to meet the individual residents’ needs and wants. These facilities offer comprehensive on-site support that includes symptom and side-effect management, peer support, medication management as requested and a wide range of educational and employment services.

Providing hope for mental health recovery 1
James, a resident of MHAH’s Marion Apartments in Leavenworth, Kan., explains to Juan Luengo, owner of Engage Insurance Group, how he builds models using LEGO®.

Inspired by personal experience

 

Juan Luengo, the owner of Engage Insurance Group, became aware of MHAH through personal experience. His ex-wife suffers from bipolar disorder, so he sought help from the nonprofit to better understand her condition and the impact mental illness can have on child rearing. “I realized I would never know what it feels like to walk in the shoes of someone experiencing a mental illness such as bipolar disorder, but my time with MHAH has increased my knowledge and empathy,” he said. It also opened his eyes to how many people experience mental illness — about 25% of all Americans — and the shocking number who end up homeless because of their condition. Gaining this knowledge inspired him to volunteer with MHAH.

 

Breaking the cycle

 

Learning about the connections between mental illness and homelessness led Engage Insurance to focus much of its support on MHAH’s Heartland Housing Initiative, and specifically its Marion Apartments location, which houses 10 individuals. This housing program has broken the cycle of homelessness for hundreds of people in the community, giving hope to those struggling with mental illness and enabling them to live successfully and contribute to their communities. It also saves hundreds of thousands of dollars in emergency room, jail and psychiatric hospital costs.

Providing hope for mental health recovery 2
Juan Luengo and other volunteers work with MHAH'S Heartland Housing Initiative to help break the cycle of homelessness.

Along with leading Engage Insurance’s volunteer effort, Luengo serves the nonprofit in several other important ways. He serves on its board of directors, advises the nonprofit on its insurance needs and consults on operational matters such as software and project management tools. In addition, he and his staff help with fundraising events and with promoting the critical work that MHAH is doing in the community.

 

“The thing I love most about giving to this organization is knowing my support impacts a broad range of individuals in our community — including many struggling in silence.”

– Juan Luengo, Owner, Engage Insurance Group

 

Providing hope for mental health recovery

James gives Juan Luengo a tour of the community garden he started at the Marion Apartments in Leavenworth, Kan., which is run by Mental Health America of the Heartland

Providing stability and hope

 

The experience of one of the residents of the Marion Apartments shows what is possible with the proper support. Prior to working with MHAH, James was homeless for many years without access to therapy, medication or services to treat his schizophrenia and intellectual challenges. Now, 20 years later, he is one of the longest tenured residents and largely self-sufficient. He enjoys tending the community garden he started on the property, supporting his neighbors with recovery strategies and welcoming and making new residents feel at home.

 

“Juan and his staff help provide stability and hope to those coping with a mental illness.”

– Susan Lewis, President and CEO, Mental Health America of the Heartland

 

Providing hope for mental health recovery 3James shows Juan Luengo one of his LEGO® designs in the common room of the Marion Apartments in Leavenworth, Kan.

 

Funding for vital services 

Providing hope for mental health recovery 5

 

If awarded, a $10,000 donation from Liberty Mutual and Safeco Insurance would help fund vital support services for the residents of the Marion Apartments. It would also be used to upgrade and improve the commons room and public areas at the apartments where they hold social events, weekly group therapy and other meetings critical to recovery and growth.

 

To vote, share this story using the blue icons to the left, comment below or both. Every vote or comment gets MHAH closer to a $10,000 donation. To learn more, visit Mental Health America of the Heartland and Engage Insurance Group. 

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Michael Pangione
6 days ago

Here’s to helping with the fight!

Gina McCord
6 days ago

Thank you Safeco Insurance, Liberty Mutual, and Engage for supporting Mental Health America of the Heartland. We couldn’t do what we do without organizations and people like you.

Brittany Frazier
6 days ago

I have participated in many excellent trainings and workshops through MHAH over the years, and often refer my clients to the MHAH warmline or other assistance. Thank you MHAH for the valuable work you do in our communities!

Tyler D. Staples
6 days ago

Keep up the good work, all. Such an important initiative!

Mirko Trapletti
6 days ago

Thank you Engage Insurance for supporting Mental Health America of the Heartland. Your help is fundamental and appreciated by the community.

Galin Stoychev
6 days ago

Thank you for all you do!

David K Deubner
6 days ago

This is remarkable. Thank you! And, thank you to all those who vote and share.

Lori A Smith
6 days ago

Thank you for your work on this important issue. Keep up the good work.

Amy Wright
6 days ago

It’s amazing what the right supports can do to help people who have mental health challenges! Thank you to everyone involved! We could not do the work we do without great community support. I am very grateful to be a part of the MHAH organization.

Gloria Brown
6 days ago

Love being apart of an agency that supports inclusiveness and wellbeing!

Natalie Sevcik
6 days ago

Thank you for the support! And thank you to all who vote and share! Let’s get to 500!

Mitzi Swaffat
6 days ago

Great cause, Juan and Engage Insurance Agency! Let’s get to 500 votes!

Molly Merrigan
6 days ago

This is such a fantastic organization!

Susan Lewis
6 days ago

Thank you to everyone who is voting to support MHAH’s mission and services!

Sarah Dettmer
6 days ago

Keep up the great work!

Karen Clond
6 days ago

Wonderful and much needed organization!

Jimmy Sevcik
6 days ago

Thank you for your support, Engage!

Cynthia Saddler
6 days ago

MHAH is AMAZING!

CHRISTOPHER LEACH
6 days ago

Love being a part of the MHAH team and love the people we serve!!!

Lucy Bloom
6 days ago

MHAH is providing much needed services!

Patrice Townsend
6 days ago

Thank you for supporting Mental Health America of the Heartland!

Tony Terwelp
6 days ago

Mental Health of America was the anchor in my recovery for my bipolar disorder. They gave me an opportunity to share my talents and skills through 20+ years of volunteering. Thank you for my recovery and the many lives I witnessed through the programs offered by this agency!

Delois Tuckedr
6 days ago

MHAH is a great organization which provides good help for those in the community needing mental health assistance and help.

Bruce Blair
6 days ago

An inspirational organization that is dedicated to improving the lives of individuals within their community.

Robert Hess
6 days ago

Happy to support such a great company and cause!

Penny Sitler
6 days ago

Keep up the great work!

Jodie Rosendal
6 days ago

Wonderful work!

Kathleen Moccio
6 days ago

Thank you!

Dustin Loughan
6 days ago

Helping with the fight!

Kerry Cosgrove
6 days ago

Mental Health America of the Heartland is a wonderful organization!

Chuck Rosenow
6 days ago

Great work you do! Keep it up, it lifts us ALL! Thank you.

Jonathan Wilson
6 days ago

Great work!! Important and needed, keep it up!

Scott Ferrel
6 days ago

Thank you to Engage for their work and support of MHAH!

Ryan
6 days ago

Well done MHAH!

Angela
6 days ago

An excellent example of the mission of MHAH!

Jenna Velez
6 days ago

You have my vote!

Theresa Nguyen
6 days ago

Soooo excited to support an amazing organization

Jim House
6 days ago

Super organization.

Sheila S
6 days ago

I appreciate that MHAH is there for people who need mental health services in our community.

Katharine
6 days ago

Fantastic way to give back!

Mary Giliberti
6 days ago

Thank you so much MHAH for all you do to bring hope and create community.

Steve Davis
6 days ago

An important cause worth supporting.

Brent Menninger
6 days ago

you guys are the best!. Keep up the good work. Thanks for all you do

David D Barnum
6 days ago

a remarkably important cause!

Arlana Joy Coleman
6 days ago

thanks Mental Health America of Heartland for supporting our community.

Connie PALOMO FLORES
6 days ago

Excellent initiative!

Tina Webel
6 days ago

MHAH is a wonderful agency! Their team works so hard to provide quality support and services to our community.

Elinor Kenyon
6 days ago

I’ve attended and brought others interested in a particular subject presented by MHAH always with positive responses. I’ve also participated in community projects that demonstrate interaction between different community agencies (e.g. schools, health agencies, plus other specific interest groups) thus fostering influence throughout the community in ways hard to measure! Another impressive contribution has been supporting “self-help” groups that help individuals better understand their mental health issues.

Cookie L Cook
5 days ago

So proud to be a part of this agency for over 14 years. As the Director, Residential Services, I have the good fortune to see first hand the profound impact on the lives of our residents on a regular basis. If you want to know how much your help can mean to the residents, ask yourself, “What would I do if I did not have a home where I felt safe; where I felt supported; and where I felt free to be who I really am, faults and all, without judgment?”

Johnny Scott
5 days ago

Love this agency!!

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