Join us for Thanksgiving Dinner at 2pm!

We are open from 10am-6pm on Thursday, November 28- Dinner served at 2pm.

Winter/Spring 2018

January 2017


















Summer News 2017

We are well into garden season and have harvested some fresh produce to be incorporated

into our weekly meals.  Please join us on Wednesdays at 11am as The Gathering Place

"Gardening Gnomes" travel to our community gardens located at West Side Park, down by the baseball

fields.  Call 740-594-7337 and talk to staff or a member to make sure the activity is taking place.

Join us for a summer meal!

Tuesday-12 noon



Leftovers and other unscheduled meals take place throughout the week as members and staff process

an abundance of produce and other fresh foods as they are available.

Our annual summer trip is currently being  planned for late July or August and is a boat tour and lunch in Marietta.  If you are a dues

paid member you are eligible to participate, give us a call at 740-594-7337 or stop in to sign up.

We have concluded our OhioMAS FY 2017 grant year and made progress as Southeast Ohio project lead for a Wellness Initiative and State-Wide Advocacy Grant. Our May 10th Wellness and Advocacy Symposium sponsored by OhioMHAS and Southeast Ohio 

Peer-Support Network was attended by 75 participants from around our region. Many other mental health state and local agencies attended as well as other peers and peer support staff from regional Consumer Operated Services/other drop-in centers. We look forward to continuing this work and forwarding wellness and advocacy for peers and supporting the growing field of peer recovery specialists in our region and state. Please stay tuned for announcements about this project.

See link here for listing of regional peer centers 

Join us Monday, July 3rd as our house band The Gatherers perform at Goodwill Store on E. State St., as we partner with Goodwill's

Community Closet program.  Anyone's donation to Goodwill on Monday will be credited towards The Gathering Place's account so that we may provide vouchers for members to purchase needed items.  

The Gathering Place has much news to share for 2018!



Our 4th Annual, “Community Illumination” Benefit will be held March 22, 2018 from 6pm-9pm at Central Venue on Carpenter Street, Athens, Ohio. This annual event is an advocacy piece designed to raise awareness of mental illness in our community and uses art as a vehicle to conduct outreach to our community about The Gathering Place’s programming and services.  Our target audience is current supporters and donors of The Gathering Place and other mental health agencies and community members in the mental health field, in addition to outreach to community members with a lived experience of a mental illness. 

This year we will be partnering with The Dairy Barn Arts Center as our members have been creating ceramic luminaries as an advocacy project; to shed light on the importance of community mental health.  We will also be holding a CD release party as our band, The Gatherers perform original songs from their first EP, this has been a collaborative project with Hocking College Music Production Department. 

Check out our Soul of Athens video of The Gatherers

Another partnership that will be highlighted at this event is our collaborative project with Appalachian Behavioral Health (ABH).  The Gathering Place is a regional lead for two grant initiatives from Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS), a Wellness Initiative and a state-wide advocacy grant, (SWAN).

These initiatives encourage empowerment of peers with a lived experience of mental illness or addiction and promote recovery. OhioMHAS also encourages grantees to partner with their state hospital on promoting the initiatives of the grant. With this in mind, our members and staff have developed a project with ABH for a “Personal Care Item Drive” and staff and volunteers of The Gathering Place and staff from ABH are making “discharge bags” to be given to patients as they return to their communities. Our goal is to create 300 bags as approximately 100 mental health patients are transitioned back into community life in the 21-county catchment area of ABH monthly. 


Admission is Free to Community Illumination but we ask that you donate one 12 ounce bottle of:

Basic items such as shampoo, conditioner, body wash, deodorant, toothbrush (single pack) and paste (4.7ounce) and laundry soap (small box or bottle) for our Personal Care Drive as these items are often out of reach for individuals as they regain benefits or employment after a stay in the hospital.  This is an opportunity for the entire community to become involved! 

We are once again honored to have The Come On, Come Ons, an Athens favorite to headline our event and they will take the stage at 8pm.  

New Staff

The Gathering Place is pleased to announce the hire of our new Program Manager, Samantha Riley and Amanda Rozner as a weekend and evening staff person.  Our long-time Program Manager Brittany Silverman has transitioned to a new career but will still be an on call weekend and evening staff person of The Gathering Place!

Both new ladies are doing fabulous things with Programming at the GP, so, be sure to check out our monthly schedule under our Activities Page.

Expansion News

The Gathering Place recently received a grant award from the 317 Board and Osteopathic Heritage Foundation of Nelsonville to expand our kitchen and renovate upstairs bathrooms!  The member bathroom is complete and now operational!  Stay turned for pictures and more details of summer construction. 

Recovery Housing

The Gathering Place purchased the parking lot and house adjacent to our 7 North Congress facility in July of 2017 with the plan of opening a Co-occurring Mental Health and Addiction Recovery House. We have been working with our 317 Board and the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services on receiving Capital Funds for reimbursement of purchase and have recently received a $20,000 grant award from Christ Lutheran Benevolence Fund for start-up costs.  We will have more to announce later but we are moving forward with this amazing project and expect to open at end of June 2018! 

Important Dates:

February 14- Valentine Karaoke 12pm-4pm

February 24- Mental Health First Aid Training for OU Volunteer Students/GP Staff 10am-6pm

March 22- Community Illumination 6pm-9pm Central Venue 29 E. Carpenter St.

March 31- Mental Health First Aid Training for Members and GP Staff  10am-6pm

Come and Join us for our annual Community Illumination 2017, Saturday, January 21 from 6-9pm at Central Venue, 29 E. Carpenter St., in Athens.  This is a free event and we welcome donations at the door! Member artwork, poetry, and our amazing house band, The Gatherers will be performing.  Local foods will also be served, along with a smoothie bar! We welcome back the local rock, funk, and soul band, Come On, Come Ons as our featured guests!  It is going to be a great stigma busting good time! Bring your dancing shoes! 

December 2016



Fall 2016

Celebrating 40 Years of Community Mental Health Support:




The Gathering Place is celebrating their 40th year in the Athens Community

with an Annual Member Meeting on October 18, 2016 at 6pm!  The first member meeting took place in October of 1976 when the GP first opened its doors to the community, so this is a very special year! Please see our Activities Page for a complete list of October activities, including meals, daily activities, and other special events!

Special October Activities you don't want to miss!

"Walk the Walk" Event, Advocacy for Mental Illness Awareness on Saturday, October 22nd, 2016, meet at Courthouse at 11am, members can meet at GP to organize as a group at 10am

Scarioke and Halloween Party with DJ Tim at the GP on Thursday, October 27th 3pm-7pm!

Wear a costume and come prepared to sing, eat and possibly win a prize! 

Join us for Thanksgiving Dinner on Thursday, November 24th at 2pm!

 We will be open from 10am-6pm--Hope to see you there! 

The Gathering Place had an eventful December, with members and staff caroling at The Laurels and Kimes nursing homes to bring holiday cheer to residents on December 19th, December 21st brought annual Christmas/Solstice party with white elephant gift exchange and holiday Karaoke!  Fun was had by all and Christmas Day brought a ham dinner with many members enjoying the season together.  Our members and staff want to thank everyone who has contributed with donations this month and last, we had amazing turkeys donated by King Family Farm for Thanksgiving, a Christmas tree donated by Kroger, and many other community members dropping off treats or sending donations for holiday meals throughout the season!







 We are especially grateful to all of the community members who donated financial support in honor of our 40th Anniversary of mental health support in the Athens community, we had a goal of $3,000 and we have more than doubled this goal!  Please check out this special edition letter below to see all of our accomplishments this past year and to still donate for the 40th Anniversary!  

June 2016


The 2016 Southeast Ohio Peer-Support Network's Health and Wellness Symposium

Come and spend time with peers from around our region to network, share ideas, participate in health and 

wellness workshos, and make new friends!

This event is sponsored by the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services and is offered 

free of charge for consumers, family members and healthcare providers. Lunch and mileage reimbursement will be provided. 

Thursday, June 30th, 2016


Appalachian Behavioral Healthcare

Athens, Ohio

Hosts are The Gathering Place and Athens Photographic Project

 To Register Please-->

April 2016 

The Gathering Place is celebrating 40 years of support in the Athens community, 1976-2016. We will be having an Open House for the community on Thursday, April 28th, from 4pm-7pm at our newly renovated facility on 7 North Congress Street. We encourage community members to join us for a tour of our beautiful 3-story Victorian house and to celebrate this milestone with food, live music and a member art show. Additionally, we are pleased to announce the creation of two mental health awards honoring two of our founders, Anne Stempel and Shirley Whan.


In the 1960’s, Anne and Shirley joined a group of concerned community members and former mental health patients to form Athens Mental Health Inc. Their grassroots movement provided support to newly discharged mental health patients, who had little to no support living on their own in the Athens community. In 1976, the group wrote a proposal to our local behavioral health board to open up a transitional center where people could form friendships, support networks, meaningful activity, and receive vital linkage services; and The Gathering Place came into existence.


At 5:30pm, there will be a special awards ceremony to recognize community members selected by the Athens Mental Health Board of Trustees, who display the qualities and dedication to The Gathering Place that Anne Stempel and Shirley Whan embodied. Without their lifetime commitment to the mission, The Gathering Place would not exist.


David Walters is the recipient of the 2016 Shirley Whan Mental Health Service Award for his many years of service to The Gathering Place. The 2016 Anne Stempel Mental Health Partnership Award has two recipients, Scott Winland, for his work with Benefest and The Athens Community Music Festival, both of which benefit our mission annually and integrate our members into the events; and Central Avenue Methodist Church, for their lead gift for our renovations and continuing support of our “Community Illumination” Mental Health awareness event, held annually at Central Venue on Carpenter Street.


For questions please call: 740-594-7337 or email  


Check out our renovations!




In other news... 


The Gathering Place is so thankful to our student interns:  Leah, our Social Work intern this year, and  Megan,  our Health Administration intern and Hannah, a Psychology/Sociology/Criminolgy intern for the Spring Semester.  We are so grateful for their amazing work with our staff and members providing integral support this year!  We will miss you and wish you the best in your future careers!


We rely on our amazing college students and partnerships with Ohio University departments and student organizations and want to do a shout out to Phi Kappa Psi.  We've been working to get the house ready for our upcoming 40th Anniversary Open House party and this great group from PHI KAPPA PSI came over to help with the landscaping and painting of our porches. They donated over $200 in materials and held a bake sale to raise another $100!!!!! WHAT AN AMAZING GROUP OF GUYS 👏👏👏👏👏👏👏 Thank you for supporting mental health!!!!!

March 2016:

The Gathering Place in partnership with Athens Photographic Project  has been selected to be a regional lead in  a capacity building project funded by the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. The goal of this project is to improve opportunities for consumer engagement and leadership in health and wellness activities within the twenty-one counties served by Appalachian Behavioral Healthcare. Within the next 6-months this project will improve networking amongst consumer-oriented groups; provide a 1-day wellness symposium on June 30, 2016 to be held at Appalachian Behavioral Healthcare;  develop a regional webpage to be housed on the OMHAS website, and provide Whole Health Action Management (WHAM) to other COS's in our region, an 8-week peer-to-peer wellness program that focuses on health and goal setting. These activities are supported by OMHAS and are provided at no cost to participants.


Peer-support; health and wellness; and consumer-driven services are becoming widely considered best practices within a comprehensive system of mental health care and we are following the state's lead in setting new practices.


In other Spring News...


This month our members started a group project focused on painting a new mural in our back garden area. The mural concept and design was created and executed by members. 














On March 17, The Gathering Place held an annual St. Patrick's Day party complete with karaoke, games, and a traditional Irish meal, beans and mash. 

Call us:

740 - 594 - 7337 

Find us: 

7 N. Congress St. Athens, OH 45701

© 2013 The Gathering Place