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Mental Health Awareness Month: At The AIM Center, People Are Members, Not Clients

President Obama has declared May as Mental Health Awareness Month, and says this year "approximately one in five American adults... will experience a diagnosable mental health condition like depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or post-traumatic stress."

Still, Obama says, millions of Americans still do not receive the care they need, and there is still considerable stigma associated with mental health treatment.

In Chattanooga, the AIM Center helps to erase that stigma by treating people with mental health issues as members, rather than clients or patients.  Program Director Rhonda Jacks-Moore joins us to talk about their clubhouse approach, which is uncommon in this region.  Free-of-charge to the members themselves, the AIM Center provides services such as housing assistance, employment assistance, support, and a place to socialize.

The center relies on members as well as staff, and members are made to feel valued and needed.  Members perform important jobs that help keep the place running.

"We're understaffed on purpose," Rhonda Jacks-Moore says.