The Heritage Cove Farm Mission
Heritage Cove Farm promotes recovery for adults with serious mental illness. As a resident of the farm, adults live in a small, private community environment. Each resident receives individual and group therapeutic support, while strengthening life, work and coping skills necessary for a successful transition to independent living.
At Heritage Cove Farm, we recognize that your physical environment, meaningful work, fitness and nutrition contribute greatly to the process of healing and recovery. We offer the following amenities:
HCF is designed around the co-housing philosophy of living together in an active, supportive community
Residents will share in all aspects of meal preparation and dine together in the common house, with the support of fellow community members and chefs
HCF provides group & individual therapeutic programs, on-site clinicians and a tele-health studio for continuity of care
Affiliations with state universities to support innovative program development, access for community out-reach and educational internships
I am a licensed psychologist who has worked with countless children and adults with severe mental health issues over the course of my 35-year career. Upon relocating full time to northern Michigan in 2002, I discovered that the area lacked both the quantity and quality of community-based services that my downstate clients enjoyed. Fortunately, residents in the area’s small towns and villages often provided informally what the larger cites offered, albeit with less community support and expertise at their disposal.The local Community Mental Health agency has continued to offer a range of services; however, criteria for access has tightened considerably in recent years due to tighter funding and stricter standards for program inclusion. In short, a population that is already vulnerable has essentially lost the last of its viable community supports.
I was thrilled to hear about Heritage Cove Farms. My previous home-based work taught me that community support is typically the linchpin in long-term success; the more accessible the services are, the better the predicted (and actual) outcome. Heritage Cove Farm will partially fill the immense gap that now exists in northern Michigan’s mental health service delivery.
The benefits of rehabilitation in a pastoral and bucolic setting, such as that in which Heritage Cove Farm is situated, cannot be denied. Indeed, humankind has been aware of the restorative aspects of idyllic settings for thousands of years, as evidenced in art from the Antiquities Era, right down to modern times! The beautiful Mullett Lake location, especially in the lake’s southwestern-most cove, offers a setting of peace and tranquility – one which is most highly prized, among those seeking, but are otherwise denied, peace and contentment. I cannot help but wonder if the region’s early native Ottawa and Chippewa Indians didn’t prize the area for just that same reason.
In this country, many of the mentally ill are forgotten or ignored. State and local municipalities have trimmed treatment facilities right out of the budget. Seems our society would rather turn its head and look the other way. Some of the less fortunate will turn to drugs and alcohol in an effort to cope, but to no avail. Many end up homeless and/or in trouble with the laws.
Heritage Cove Farm will be a supportive community run by health professionals. The screened residents will have already successfully completed any necessary drug/alcohol treatment. They will be required to participate in group and individual therapeutic programs as well as the operation and/or maintenance of the community. With the proposed 24 hour onsite support staffing, Heritage Cove Farm will be the safest environment.
Heritage Cove Farm is designed to serve people in transition from a high state of need back to a stable life in the community. Studies show that housing supports are essential to helping people with severe mental health needs continue with the medical treatment they need to recover.
I have been practicing as a clinical psychologist inNorthern Michigan for over 15 years, and there have been numerous times I’ve wished I could refer parents struggling to care for a son or daughter with schizophrenia or sever bi-polar disorder to a place like Heritage Cove Farm.
Because of my work over the last 25 years, consulting nationally on the design of best-proactive programs for the treatment of adults with serious mental illness, I’ve seen programs like this across the country – CooperRiis in North Carolina, Gould Farm in Massachusetts, and the step-down programs associated with Menninger Clinic across the country. They work. And people in Northern Michigan deserve a resource like this.
I am a psychiatrist in Michigan who would like to express my whole-hearted support for the development of Heritage Cove Farm. The stigma of having mental illness is so severe, that even though up to 10% of the population suffers from it, everyone who can hide from it and remain in the closet does so, leaving public perception of mental illness limited to the news reports…. The chronically mentally ill require the intensive and comprehensive treatments and supports as provided by a center like Heritage Cove Farm. And the development of Heritage Cove Farm should not be thwarted based on stigma.
If God-forbid I had a child with a severe and persistent mental illness, I would surely be seeking out a facility like Heritage Cove Farm, to teach my child how to manage his/her mental illness yet still live productively as an active member of a community.
I am writing in regards to Heritage Cove Farm… a therapeutic community being developed in India River, Michigan. The founders of Heritage Cove Farm have sought counsel and been in dialogue with Gould Farm during the process of organizing and launching their residential treatment program for people living with mental illness. Heritage Cove Farm is one of several therapeutic communities in the United States that are modeled after Gould Farm. From CooperRiis in North Carolina to Hopewell in Eastern Ohio, residential treatment programs that use work in a farm setting as means of psychiatric rehabilitation, have proven to be effective at preparing people to love independently as productive members of communities across the country.
Heritage Cove Farm is positioned to create another wonderful opportunity for people living with mental illness to find the treatment, support and opportunities that enable a full and meaningful life. We are proud to be a support to their cause.
I am writing in full support for the planned residential community that will allow a small group of adults who have been impacted by mental illness to live in a caring and supportive community at Heritage Cove Farm. The residents will benefit from meaningful work, therapeutic intervention and the healing peace that comes from a home setting rich in natural beauty and the rhythms of the natural world.
One of the things that is painfully lacking in our current society is the concept and actuality of “community”. The reality is that nobody can survive alone and without some level of supportive community. Humans need community to become the best that we can become. The community that Heritage Cove Farm proposes will most certainly be transformative for the residents of that community and something the larger northern Michigan community could be very proud of. I quote former Vice President Hubert Humphrey (©1977) who said “… the moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; those who are in the shadows of life, the sick, the needy and the handicapped…”
My family has resided in Tuscarora Township [Indian River, MI] for over 100 years…. We have the chance to do something really important here and I encourage you to join me in fully supporting the proposed community at Heritage Cove Farm.
According to the national Alliance on mental Illness, one in four adults experience some form of mental illness each year, and one in 17or 13.6 million live with a serious mental illness. I applaud the board of directors of Heritage Cove Farm for their courage and strength in bringing meaningful response to an issue we chose to ignore or bury our heads in the sand, if it doesn’t affect you personally.
Those working hard at recovery, need the type of supportive community environment being proposed at Heritage Cove Farm. I would not be afraid to live next door to this 33 acre site. I would not be afraid to work as a volunteer at Heritage Cove Farm. I would not be afraid to have my grandson accompany me to work side by side with or share a meal with residents on this farm. And I am proud to sign my name in support of Heritage Cove Farm’s plans to provide this much needed residential supportive program in my community.
Becoming a Resident
Potential residents will start their admissions inquiry with a telephone call or email to Heritage Cove Farm to begin the dialogue in determining if HCF may be a “good fit”. At this time, we are not accepting applications for new residents, so stay tuned… or Contact Us below so we can stay in touch with you.
Heritage Cove Farm accepts applicants age 18 and older living with one or more severe mental illnesses, including anxiety, bi-polar, depression, schizophrenia and/or schizoaffective disorders. Heritage Cove Farm is a voluntary program, and admission decisions are based on your willingness to: engage in community and farm activities; play an active role in understanding your mental illness, recovery options and your treatment plan; continuing prescribed medications; participation in group and individual therapy programs; sharing your strengths; and accepting responsibility to participate as a contributing member of the community. Applications for admission will be available on-line or by making inquiry to Heritage Cove Farm.
A Day in The Life
Our nutritious meal preparation, community dining, structured work program, individual and group therapy, and opportunities for support and interaction with fellow residents, staff and volunteers change with the seasons. Mornings begin with breakfast, announcements and schedules for the day, then you will join a work crew until lunchtime. After lunch, you may spend time with an afternoon team, group or individual therapies, wellness activities, or meal preparation. Evening programs and weekend excursions are made available to staff and residents alike.
Follow Along for Updates on Our Community Progress