The Swanson Center was happy to receive a generous donation on Friday from Centier Bank, in celebration of the Swanson Center’s 50th anniversary of service to the community.
“We feel that this is a good investment into an organization that does so many good things to address mental health and addiction right here in Michigan City and La Porte County,” said Timothy Warner, Vice President of Business Banking for Centier Bank.
Originally founded in 1969 by a group of concerned citizens who determined a vital need for outpatient psychiatric care in La Porte County, the Swanson Center (originally La Porte County Mental Health Services) has served the needs of county residents faithfully over the decades.
“We offer a full variety of mental health, behavioral, and substance abuse programs,” said Jennifer Heath, Director of the Foundation for Behavioral Health at Swanson Center.
Heath said Swanson Center provides counseling programs and therapeutic services, outpatient services for children and adults, help for those struggling with addiction (including on-staff therapists), and individual and marital counseling for adults, among other services. Professionals also prescribe medications if needed, and Swanson Center has an onsite pharmacy for patient convenience.
Heath said Friday’s donation from Centier Bank will have a profound effect on the programs that Swanson Center provides.
“We are a not-for-profit entity. Every dollar that we get in the door makes a huge difference for us and the services that we can provide for the community,” Heath said. “This check is actually part of our 50th anniversary gala that we recently hosted. Centier Bank was kind enough to help sponsor that event, and had a presence there at the gala.”
The Foundation is a newly-formed business entity, formed just last July for the purpose of raising funds and awareness for the Swanson Center, to help them sustain operations for years to come and to raise awareness for mental health issues.
Daniel Peck, Executive Director and CEO of Swanson Center, said that while they already serve about 3,500 individuals a year, the need is still great.
“We need to educate the community on mental health needs, offer prevention services, and many other programs, many of which are not funded through traditional fee-for-service,” Peck said.
That’s where the Foundation comes in.
“They can be used to help educate the community. They can provide training opportunities for individuals as well as staff members. They can help with meeting those unfunded initiatives such as prevention services,” Peck said.
“With the help of education and advocacy, the face of behavioral health in society has changed dramatically by tearing down the stigma associated with those conditions,” he continued. “No longer is it something that people feel the need to keep secret. Whether we’re talking about working with the geriatric patient or programs that serve young children, behavioral health impacts the community,” Peck said.
Swanson Center’s business relationship with Centier Bank stems back six years to when they were still headquartered out of the business center at Marquette Mall.
“We were looking to upgrade our location and services,” said Andrew Nielsen, Chief Financial Officer at Swanson Center. “We wanted to own our own facility, and it was through Centier that we were able to do that. Centier provided us with a loan that allowed us to purchase and renovate the building we are currently located in. They have been a terrific business partner of ours ever since.”
Warner echoed the sentiment of cooperation and gratitude.
“This is kind of our way to help the Foundation kick off their fundraising efforts, and to hopefully motivate others to step up and help out as well,” Warner said.