Mental Health Matters: Celebrating writing

December 28, 2023

Mental Health Matters: Celebrating writing

By Lori Schummer, Director of Public Relations and Customer Services

Mental Health Matters is a presentation of West Michigan Community Mental Health in partnership with Mason County Press and Oceana County Press.

In a remarkable collaboration, Laura Ruhle, West Michigan Community Mental Health community living & employment services specialist and local author Mary Lou Ohnsman organized an exceptional six-week group writing session for six consumers from the WMCMH gathering site, Dimensions. Gathering sites are dedicated to assisting adults with serious mental illness or intellectual/ developmental disabilities with skill building and training to enhance active participation in various life domains. WMCMH has gathering sites in Lake, Mason, and Oceana counties.

The transformative writing group, led by Ohnsman unfolded over six weeks at Cornerstone Baptist Church in Ludington. Ohnsman fostered creativity, self-expression, guided participants through writing and empowered all to explore their thoughts and emotions.

Writing became the medium through which the group articulated their experiences, confronted challenges, and found solace in the act of self-expression within a safe and inclusive space. The class culminated in a red-carpet event named Writing with Brilliance, where each participant shared their compelling stories of faith, fiction, and personal achievements.

Laura Ruhle expressed enthusiasm about the success of the writing class, stating, “They found their voices and wanted to share their experiences with the world “.

The writing group was a resounding success, showcasing profound impact and creative expression. Another writing group will begin later this month.

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