The Recovery Hub offers a safe space to hang out for those suffering from mental illness.

Block Club Chicago logo. Black background with white lettering over the Chicago skyline outline.

ROGERS PARK — A new mental health drop-in clinic in Rogers Park is seeking to provide free services and a safe space to hang out for those suffering from mental illness.

Anixter Center Chicago’s Recovery Hub, 7507 N. Clark St., offers peer-based mental health services as well as programming and life-skills training. The Recovery Hub opened in late January, with Anixter hosting an open house at the facility last week.

For many programs aimed at helping those with severe mental illness, the goal is usually to get the person from an institutional setting into an independent living set-up. But for those who make the transition, there are few resources available, said Amy Bowers, vice president of behavioral health at Anixter Center. That’s where the Recovery Hub comes in.

“They’ve learned skills, become stable, but what comes next?” Bowers said. “This is a bridge between community and a really structured life.”

At the Recovery Hub, clients can find a judgement-free space to hang out, meet with friends or seek services. Anixter holds peer-based mentoring to help those transitioning to a more independent life, as well as art therapy, music lessons and trips to places like the grocery store and the library, where clients can learn skills to be more self sufficient.

Less formally, the Recovery Hub also serves as a hang-out spot for those with mental illness, which can cause isolation and loneliness. There’s a pool table and a media room, which help Anixter’s clients socialize in an unstructured setting.

“Isolation is such a large problem with this group,” said Kristin Williams, Recovery Hub’s manager. “It’s about having the confidence, the ability to get out into the community and have an active life.”

Anixter, which celebrated its 100th anniversary in September, has a number of facilities throughout Chicago that help those with developmental disabilities and mental illness.

“The rest of us enjoy opportunities for support, friendship and fun,” Bowers said. “That’s what we’re trying to achieve with this space. It’s setting up a place where people feel welcome and safe.”

The new Clark Street location is open seven days a week to anyone over 18 who has been diagnosed with mental illness. It is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday; from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday; and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Joe Ward @jaydubward
Rogers Park, Edgewater, Uptown Reporter

Link to the original story at Block Club Chicago.