The Castle Center opens to provide support“Like a medieval castle which was uniquely home and fortress, ‘The Castle’ is about strength and courage.”
By: By Julia Ybarra-Young, New Richmond News
“Like a medieval castle which was uniquely home and fortress, ‘The Castle’ is about strength and courage.”
The Castle Center, located in the 21st Century building at 1237 N. Knowles Ave., is a volunteer-run social and resource group for people with mental illnesses.
Ninette Nolan, one of the organizers of the group, said that the idea started about a year ago with the creation of the St. Croix County Mental Health Consumer Taskforce — a group of people whose lives are touched personally by mental illness. They had been meeting monthly with the St. Croix County Department of Health and Human Services Behavioral Health Services in New Richmond, but are now trying to branch out on their own.
Using donated space in the 21st Century building, the group has set up an area for persons with mental illness to come and socialize with 1-2 volunteers on hand each week. The Castle is currently open Thursdays from 12:30-4:30 p.m., but they will adjust those times as demand grows.
“It was clear that we needed a place for people to go and support each other,” Nolan said. “We want to keep people as independent as possible.”
The rooms are sparse, sporting a coffeemaker, some games and a couple tables and chairs. Since there is no charge for people to attend, the group is constantly on the lookout for bargains/donations to make the space more comfortable.
“We’ve been going to some sales,” Nolan said. “We’re doing well on games, but it would be nice to have a bookshelf to store them on.”
In addition to furniture and possibly a computer, Nolan said the group’s “wish list” includes people.
“We would like people who like to talk to come over, preferably with a mental health background,” Nolan ventured. “Also, people who would like to teach a craft — that would be good.”
Although the regular Thursday gatherings are not open to the public, the Castle Center is having an open house on Thursday, Nov. 4, from 2:30-6:30 p.m. Any interested parties are invited to attend.
For more information about The Castle Center, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.