NEC News

Improve your lifestyle now!

WNIT TV – Education Counts – Addressing Mental Health

Between academics and other school activities, it can be easy to miss the signs a student may be having trouble addressing emotional and mental issues. Mental health is an area only explored typically in the most traumatic of situations but should be handled more often. We take a look at how Lakeland Schools in LaGrange address the importance of a student’s mental well-being.

Northeastern Center LaGrange County staff, Nicole Johnson-Smith, Area Director, and Haley Anglin, Intake Therapist, address the struggles of mental health issues in children and adolescents.

Virtual Stomp out the Stigma

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have converted our live event to a virtual 5K. Participants have the month of October to complete their 5K at their own pace and at any location they choose. Participants may document the time and date of completion of their walk/run, and then submit the information to the online registration page.

See more information on the link below:

Donating Time, Creativity and Resources for the Betterment of the Community

Randy McDonald started making quilts a few years ago as a hobby in 2016. He had no experience but watched sewing shows on TV. He thought it looked like fun, “A way to use my creative flair.” Randy came up with designs and went to the fabric store (Zinks) in Ligonier a few miles away from his house. He became a regular there, matching fabrics and talking to the sales clerks to discuss ideas. In the beginning, Randy made a few quilts and gave them away to family and friends. In 2017, he started donating them to “Stomp out the Stigma” (SOS) sponsored by New Hope Clubhouse to give as door prizes to those who signed up for the 5K race. It went over quite well. People were happy to get the quilts. These projects are self-funded by Randy. The next year he made and donated three quilts, and another member donated a crocheted afghan. In 2020, he has completed three fur blankets that are constructed out of faux fur and quilting materials. He has customized two jean jackets with faux alligator and snakeskin to donate to the SOS-5K – one extra-large, and one 2 XL.

Randy has asked members to help him with these creative projects. Randy wanted to get other members of New Hope Clubhouse involved because, “It gives people a sense of purpose, accomplishment, and pride to make something of beauty that others admire.” Cheryl Miller tied one of the fur quilts and is working on a real rabbit fur blanket with sheepskin, for donation to a local charity. Lisa Myers also tied a quilt (see photo) and will be donated to a church that has a food bank or a food bank to raffle off. Lisa will also be working on future quilts. Susan Farver is ironing the quilt after its completion and washing. Maggie Greenway has agreed to make one or two old western-style dusters made out of faux alligator with a lining, to be donated to SOS-5K next year. Maggie made a woven rag rug made of bed sheets, which was self-funded and donated this year. All of this work is donated time by the members working at home.

Randy says this has been an excellent experience for him, and hopefully, the after-hours craft group will grow bigger and more elaborate in the future.

Randy McDonald has been a member since 2015 of New Hope Clubhouse located in Kendallville, Indiana. New Hope serves men and women of the four counties in Northeast Indiana recovering from mental illness.

Masks for All

The New Hope Clubhouse was fortunate enough to have cloth masks donated in April 2020. While it was closed to members due to COVID-19, Clubhouse staff members, Andrea Brand and Lynn Bunnell, mailed one of the masks to 100 members as an encouragement to wear a mask. It was becoming necessary to wear a mask when in any public location.

When Clubhouse re-opened slowly in the middle of May, it was policy for everyone to wear a mask. Clubhouse staff realized that one wasn’t enough, as many of the members had not worn them prior or struggled with how to wear them correctly. With awareness of new COVID-19 guidelines, we were able to locate a Cricut mask pattern that covered the nose and mouth more efficiently.   Lynn Chupp, a Clubhouse staff member, took the design and decided to try to make a few at home to see how well this pattern would work. She made a few and found that they were not only needed but very much wanted by staff and members. Lynn Chupp found different ways to adapt this pattern to fit different facial shapes and personal preferences.

As mask production increased for her, Lynn found different resources for the material needed to make the masks, including garage sales and thrift stores. Donations and hunting down deals, has helped to lower the cost for supplies. Members have played a big part in obtaining fabric, for example, Randy McDonald, a Clubhouse member, donated fabric that he had at home. Lynn was particular in the type of material used and only accepted material that was 100% cotton.

When Clubhouse recognized her for her donation of time and energy, Lynn Chupp shared with the Clubhouse staff and members that she has experienced first-hand the importance of following the COVID-19 guidelines. (Please see photo wear Lynn is wearing one of the masks she made.) Lynn has been quarantined twice, and on both occasions, thankfully, did not test positive. Lynn’s father-in-law passed away from COVID-19 in April, her husband tested positive in May and was very ill as well as both her elderly parents, all who have recovered.

Lynn Chupp shared, “I initially found making masks to be my coping skill to handle the stressors and allow me to do something positive in a negative situation. It is such a mission now that my thoughts continue, ‘If I can prevent one person from getting sick, it is well worth all the time spent. I do not want anyone to suffer the struggles and worry that my family has.’” She also shared that she is hoping that people see the time, concern, and caring that she puts into every mask as an example of the importance of following the guidelines for not only our safety but for the protection of others.

Lynn has made over 200 masks for the Clubhouse Thrift Store, where they sell like hotcakes. They are on sale for only $1.00 each, so members can afford them and can have more than one. The goal is to promote wearing a clean mask every day. In one day alone on August 10, 2020, Lynn brought in 58 masks she had made over the weekend, and 38 sold in 3 hours! Any profit made from the Thrift Store is donated to the member’s social fund.

When you walk down the street or shop in the four counties of Northeast Indiana, you may see someone wearing a cute mask made by Lynn Chupp.

New Hope Clubhouse is a voluntary program that provides the support adults need to regain confidence and self-esteem.

The Clubhouse provides opportunities for the enhancement of social skills, to develop relationships, and to break the cycle of social isolation that is so common among adults with mental illness.

The ultimate goal of the Clubhouse is to help people get real jobs in the community.

Northeastern Center holds RIBBON CUTTING new NORTHEASTERN CENTER Residential Home and CENTRALIZED Maintenance FACILITY

On Thursday, August 13, at 1:00 PM, Northeastern Center cut the ribbon on their new Promise House residential home as well as a new maintenance facility.  The new facilities located on Dagny Drive are accessible off of Dowling Street in Kendallville, just east of Opportunity Apartments.

The new 4,017 square foot Promise House facility replaces an existing residential facility currently located in DeKalb County.  Promise House will be an eight-bed, short-term care facility for adults promoting wellness and recovery.

The new facility expands resident capacity from 7 beds to 8 beds.  In 2019 Promise House served 37 individuals.  In 2019 residents were 48.6% male and 51.4% female.

The new 6,382 square foot maintenance facility will now function as the central hub for all of Northeastern Center’s maintenance and transportation services for Noble, DeKalb, Lagrange, and Steuben counties.  Currently, Northeastern Center employs eight staff on their maintenance team.




On Tuesday, July 28, Northeastern Center presented the 2020, $750 Jane George Scholarship to DeKalb High School graduate, Chloe Taylor from Corunna, Indiana.

This fall, Chloe will be attending Ball State University where she will be pursuing a degree in Child Life with a minor in Psychology.

Dottie Fuentes, Northeastern Center’s Chief Clinical Officer made the check presentation to Chloe.

College-bound seniors from Steuben, LaGrange, DeKalb, & Noble counties, considering a career in mental health were encouraged to participate in the 2020 scholarship contest.  Entrants were asked to submit an essay focusing on two themes:  1 . “What in my life has motivated me to pursue a career in mental health.”   2. “How I plan to contribute to the future of mental health.”  Judges made up of Northeastern Center staff, selected Chloe, from all entrants, as the winner of the 2020 Scholarship.

The scholarship was created to remember Jane George, Nurse Case Manager, who was a dedicated Northeastern Center employee for more than seven years until her death from cancer in October of 2002.

Next year’s scholarship competition will begin in February and the winner will be selected in May.  Area students and teachers interested in the competition may contact Northeastern Center’s Administration Building in Kendallville, Indiana (260) 347-2453.


Northeastern Center Participating in Adventure Noble County

Adventure Noble Count is an interactive experience that inspires families with children to visit various locations throughout Noble County, Indiana by providing a “scavenger hunt” featuring our resident fairy, gnome, and troll homes to inspire imagination and teach participants about the culture and heritage of our beautiful communities.