What’s in a Name?
The board and directors of The Mental Health Center decided to change its name at this point in our history for several reasons. First, our current name often causes people to identify us as a county agency. Although we have a long history of productive collaboration with the Dane County Department of Human Services, we are a private, non-profit agency that contracts with the County for a percentage of our overall revenue. Second, we have plans to expand our services regionally. The name “Mental Health Center of Dane County” could imply a geographical limitation that would make our future marketing efforts more difficult. Third, we want our name to more accurately reflect the partnership we share with our consumers and our community.
After a yearlong search involving our staff, consumers, board and community stakeholders, we chose the name The Journey Mental Health Center (tag line: Sharing the path from hope to recovery). We chose this name because its core concept is universal. Whether it is an exodus, a rite of passage, an emigration or an exploration, every culture understands and embraces the idea of taking a trip to improve your circumstances and broaden your horizons. The name also supports our mission of “improving people’s lives by pioneering and sustaining effective mental health and substance abuse services.” You cannot be a pioneer without taking a journey literally or figuratively. Finally, the name reflects the partnerships between the Center and its various constituencies. With our consumers, it is a journey of discovery and recovery. For our staff, it is a journey of continuous quality improvement, commitment and compassion. And with our community partners, it is a journey of shared values, shared knowledge, shared challenge and shared achievement.
The name of the Mental Health Center of Dane County is known and respected around the world. We are determined to retain and expand upon the reputation our predecessors and we have built. Our goal during the past year has been to discover a name that honors our past, defines our present and embraces our future. It has been an eventful and rewarding journey–one that is just beginning.