The Thomas M. Wernert Center is a mental health recovery and support center named in honor of Tom Wernert, who was the executive director of the Lucas County Mental Health Board for 30 years until he passed away in 1999. Tom was a true mental health advocate and initiated Board funding for our organization in 1992, when our agency was known as the Consumers Union of Lucas County. Today, we continue to be funded by the Mental Health and Recovery Services Board of Lucas County.

We provide encouragement for adults 18 years of age and older who reside in Lucas County. The only requirement for participation in our programming is that one is living with mental health challenges. We are not a clinical agency; we do not have doctors, therapists, or case managers on staff.

Our center is a Consumer/Peer Operated Service (COS) certified by the Ohio Department of Mental Health. In other words, the majority of the staff is on a journey of mental health recovery. It is our belief that no one can understand the challenges of living with mental health issues better than someone who has walked down that road.

One of our primary purposes is to end the isolation that is often experienced by those of us living with mental health challenges. We offer support in a safe and nurturing environment within our beautiful building. Members can socialize and engage in meaningful activities that promote mental and physical wellness such as Body Recall (gentle exercise), ping-pong, art classes, sewing, bingo, and karaoke.

One of the highlights of our center is our popular Friday Afternoon Supper Club that brings friends together for delicious homemade food and plenty of fun and fellowship. We often sponsor recovery and advocacy forums prior to the Supper Club that address topics such as medication, nutrition, client’s rights, and Social Security and work incentives. We also host an annual health fair where members can have their vision, cholesterol, blood pressure, and sugar levels tested.

Named in honor of supporter Ilse Samberg, Ilse’s Café is located in our club room within the Thomas M. Wernert Center. Here, members can enjoy gourmet coffees, teas, and snacks in a café like setting while playing chess, participating in open mic nights, or viewing movies on a 6 foot projection screen.

Ilse’s Café operates during Wednesday evening hours and is open March through December.