JFSA Board Member Jon Wise is eager to tell people about the benefits of the Holistic Recovery Services offered through JFSA. For the past 10 years, these services have enabled his family member who struggles with mental illness to grow and live more independently. “A person who has a mental illness needs more support than the family alone can give,” explains Jon. “This program allows individuals to spend time with people who don’t look at you like you’re different. The stigma is gone.”

In 2011, the Planned Lifetime Assistance Network of Northeast Ohio (PLAN) merged with the mental health programs offered through JFSA’s Ascentia, allowing PLAN members greater access to valuable wrap-around services like representative payee services, employment services, pooled disability trust funds and case management. “These are vital resources for families who can’t do it all themselves,” explains Jon, who previously served on PLAN’s board of directors. “It’s been an enormous help and brings us peace of mind.”

Jon also knows how important it is that families know their loved ones are taken care of even after the family is gone. “It’s important for the community to support those with mental illness,” he says. “They need guidance. Who’s going to do it if we don’t?”