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. They reached their goal of 500 votes and doubled their donation to reach $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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Tiffany
9 months ago

As an individual who struggles with mental health and a parent of a child who lost his battle with depression, I appreciate your cause!

Vicki Sanderson
10 months ago

Here’s to helping those in need. God bless you!

Julien P Devereux
11 months ago

This is what it takes, caring, commitment and money.

Ernie McClellan
11 months ago

Awesome organization, awesome programs, awesome agent for supporting!

Stephanie Greer
11 months ago

Love what this group is doing for mental health. They have my vote! Thank you Liberty Mutual/Safeco for your support and donations to great causes.

Last edited 11 months ago by Stephanie Greer
Chuc Hammons
11 months ago

Do good things.

Dana Johnson
11 months ago

Thank you for all you do!

Denise Weaver
11 months ago

Hope you get the votes!!

DARREN FRIENDT
11 months ago

You have my vote!

Martha
11 months ago

Thank you for being a blessing to those who benefit from your help.

Tracy Koch
11 months ago

Thanks for all your work for a wonderful cause!

A Forde
11 months ago

Keep up the great work!

Trudie Hall
11 months ago

Talk about impact, this organization touches lives that change our community from the inside out. It makes a difference! Keep up the good works!

Laura Jucha
11 months ago

Well done!!

Karita R Matlock
11 months ago

Keep doing great work. Thank you

Tracy Koch
11 months ago

Thankyou for doing such a great job with this community.

Myrna Estrada
11 months ago

Bravo to Engage Insurance Group and Mental Health America of the Heartland. What incredible work you are doing in your community.

Tina R. Dodson
11 months ago

Hope is always with us all.

Paul
11 months ago

What a fantastic cause!

Austin Early
11 months ago

Thank you for all that you do!

Laura I Rios Estrada
11 months ago

I vote for Engage Insurance Group

Jilinda White
11 months ago

Great organization!

Steve Davis
11 months ago

This is a worthy cause to support!

Gerry Trilling
11 months ago

Thank you for the good work you do making this a better city for everyone.

Matt Weaver
11 months ago

This is a great opportunity to help where it is really needed!

Alex Meade
11 months ago

GREAT WORK! KEEP IT UP and Thanks Safeco / Liberty Mutual for Supporting great causes

Danielle
11 months ago

Thank you for all you do!

Kristi Calvin
11 months ago

What a great organization. Thank you for all you do in the community.

Mike Cushman
11 months ago

They have my vote

Laurie M
11 months ago

Keep up the awesome work!!

Jeremy Andersen
11 months ago

A great cause and admirable effort by Engage.

Darrio Salinas
11 months ago

Happy to know the Engage Insurance Group team, and proud of their initiative in making a difference and supporting Mental Health America of the Heartland.

Jody Boeding
11 months ago

Thanks to MHAH for all they do for mental health in the metro Kansas City area and thanks to Safeco Insurance, Liberty Mutual, and Engage for their support!

Molly Merrigan
11 months ago

I know if they win it will benefit all they serve.

Stacy
11 months ago

We are 8 votes away! thank you for everyone that voted!

Johnte Archer
11 months ago

Love the cause! Good luck to you!

SANDRA TAYLOR
11 months ago

Thank you for supporting Mental Health!

Kelli L.
11 months ago

Great work, keep it up!

Ingo W.
11 months ago

Thank you MHAH for doing such important work and thank you Engage for supporting such an important organization!

Katrina Green
11 months ago

Three cheers for those who do the real work, and their supporting insurers. It takes all of us.

Mario Urquilla
11 months ago

Looks like a great cause.

Katie
11 months ago

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

Allison McLain
11 months ago

MHAH is a great organization providing vital mental health and housing services in Kansas City!

Scott Paulk
11 months ago

Small token of my appreciation for what you guys do. Best of luck and here is to getting that extra $5K!!!

Rachel
11 months ago

Wishing you guys good luck!

Phe
11 months ago

Cheers! I’m pulling for you!

Matthew T Watkins
11 months ago

Doing Great work in the Community!

Chris J Woods
11 months ago

Good luck!

Chris
11 months ago

As a recent Make More Happen award winner, I know how important these votes are. Happy to help another great cause! Best of luck!

Gina
11 months ago

Thank you Engage for being a great cimmunity partnee to MHAH.

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