Mission: The Gathering Place is a member operated peer recovery organization that serves

adults with a lived experience of a mental health issue or a co-occurring mental health and 

substance use disorder.  Staff and members work together to provide peer support, linkage

services, advocacy, mental health education, recreational and wellness activities, access

to healthy food, and community integration opportunities, all in a welcoming home-like




History: Athens Mental Health, Inc has been a foundation of mental health support in

the Athens community since 1969. At the time, this small group of community

volunteers and former patients came together to provide support to newly discharged

mental health patients, when deinstitutionalization brought clients out of the state

psychiatric hospitals and back into the community, but with few social networks. The

group operated out of a church basement and various members' homes. They

provided care packages to the newly discharged patients, and helped to fill their refrigerators with food, and supply them with basic houseware items. In 1975, the President of the group, a woman by the name of Rita Gillick, who had been hospitalized at the Athens Mental Health Center for over 20 years, wrote a proposal to the Athens-Hocking-Vinton county mental health services board for a transitional center. The proposal was funded and The Gathering Place opened its doors in November of 1976 at 7 North Congress Street in Athens, a three story Victorian home. Originally started as a gathering spot to find refuge and to gain essential strengths and skills, the organization has become a bridge for many, currently serving approximately 150 individuals per year, with no fee for service.



Athens Mental Health, Inc. is a tax-exempt 501(c)3, membership based organization. The governing structure consists of a 10-12 member board of trustees of which at least 50% are mental health consumers. The Executive Director oversees the day-to-day management of the agency. Athens Mental Health, Inc is certified to prove "other" mental health services by the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. Eligibility is open to any adult age 19 or older with a clinically diagnosed mental illness. The Gathering Place is open 365 days per year, Monday through Saturday 10:00am-8:00pm and Sunday 10:00am-6:00pm. The Gathering Place fosters recovery by encouraging participants to help and support one another, by promoting community involvement and meaningingful activity and by enchancing personal development, well-being and healthy living. The Gathering Place provides and encourages:


- Assertive linkage and advocacy to health and social services

- Developing and practicing good physical and mental health habits and daily living skills

- Connection to jobs, housing and wellness programs

- Peer support and meaningful friendships

- Health and wellness activities that boost morale and companionship

- Provide a drug and alcohol free environment at all times 




Health and wellness activities include:

- Recreational activities such as bowling, karaoke, game and movie nights, hiking, exercise, yoga and communitiy events

- Art activities such as music therapy, poetry and group arts and crafts

- Nutritional programming includes daily healthy meals and emergency food pantry access, providing cooking and nutrition education and community gardening 


Services Provided 

About Us