By Cynthia Germain
Those affected by mental illness have a place to go in Sturgeon Bay that offers refuge and resources. Jak’s Place opened 10 years ago, named after Jonah Andrew Klapatch (JAK), the son of the center’s founder who lost his life to the effects of mental illness, and continues to serve the community with support and advocacy. Jak’s Place is currently a project of Lakeshore Community Action Program, and Jane Herlitz, Executive Director, says that their goal is to help those who are participating at Jak’s to achieve recovery and independent function in the community through a variety of support groups and social programming.
Herlitz notes that socialization is key and that Tuesday night is a big night with a community dinner, serving on average of 25 people. Jak’s Place supports not only those with a mental illness diagnosis but also their families providing counsel, community referrals and advocacy. As they look to the new year, the staff of Jak’s Place are in the process of structuring youth mental health programming in collaboration with other local organizations to serve young people with mental illness in the community.