KOLD HEROES: Inspiring those with mental illness - Tucson News Now

KOLD HEROES: Inspiring those with mental illness

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Giving a voice to the voiceless.

Mindy Bernstein helps bring back purpose to the lives of those battling mental illness.

"This is a community that is often overlooked or misunderstood or feared and here it is a welcoming place,” Jennifer Herold said.

Herold is talking about Our Place Clubhouse. Somewhere for people struggling with a mental illness to turn to for help getting their life back.

She said this is where you will find one woman inspiring and changing lives every day, "Mindy, everyday to me is a hero."

Mindy Bernstein became part of the clubhouse 24 years ago, working alongside others she can understand very well. Mindy herself struggles with depression.

"It’s not just the symptoms of depression there's PTSD. Self-esteem is always an issue for me. I’m still a work in progress," said Mindy Bernstein.

"It blows me away. Especially because she too has struggled in her life and yet she can put that all aside if somebody needs her,” said Herold.

There are many people who do need Mindy and the clubhouse.

"I have watched people who have sat silent on a couch for three months, watching, get up one day and start helping,” Mindy said.

Our Place Clubhouse is building confidence in each person that walks through the door.

"People like me who are in bad place can come here. You can get a skill, you can meet people like you,” said Herold.

Skills that apply to many different jobs. Clients work at Cafe 54 right next door or even an adjacent thrift shop.

"Watching people graduate from our programs and find employment,” said Herold.

Overcoming so much and accomplishing many things, that's what Herold said would not be possible without Mindy.

"Mindy is incandescent. She's got a smile that can make anybody feel better. She's always got a hug for you if you're a hugger, which I'm not a big hugger, but I've learned," said Herold. 

"Working is an important part of my recovery and helping other people is just the extra blessing that I receive,” Bernstein said.

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