Manistee Friendship Society

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What is a Drop-in?

The Purpose of a Drop-In


  • Safe, supportive, normal environment for individuals suffering from a "mental illness”. 


  • Providing an atmosphere of acceptance where individuals feel needed and grow in self-worth, dignity, and self-respect. 


  • Increases knowledge of community resources, allows individuals to learn from one another, and provides a place where social and recreational activities can occur. 


  • Provides social support for persons at risk for psychiatric hospitalization with organized and informal recreational and social activities where we can assist each other in solving daily living problems(social, recreational, housing, transportation, and vocational).


  • Places emphasis on helping individuals feel independent and make decisions.  We have something to offer each other and by helping run the center and supporting each other, we develop a sense of usefulness, increase feelings of well-being, and minimize risk of hospitalization.


Understanding and Support


  • Individuals interact with others who have shared similar experiences, such as hospitalizations, medications, doctors, therapies, etc. 


  • A powerful support system is built that helps individuals through painful times.  One of the main reasons individuals come to the center is that personal support. 


  • Individuals find that discouragement, fear, rage, pain, and anxiety are all natural human emotions, and not unique to them because of their diagnosis.  We realize that our hopes, dreams, fears, and pain are no different than those of others.  This realization helps us feel less alone, different, “crazy”, or afraid in the world. 


A Place to Go, A Place to Be


  • The center is a place to go, and a place to be, it's that simple.  There are no demands, such as when one is hospitalized, or in therapy. One is able to relax, enjoy, and just experience. 


  • Many of us have nowhere to go and would remain isolated in the home because the stigma of "mental illness" out in the community. 


  • Individuals need interaction with others to grow and to live.  Individuals need somewhere to go where they can feel safe.



At the Drop-In, stigma is eliminated through acceptance.  With this acceptance, individuals with emotional and mental health problems change their view of themselves.  As they are accepted by others, they learn to accept themselves and even like themselves.  The judgmental attitudes of society are absent at the center because every one has been in a similar place or shared a similar experience.  At the center there is no shame in being a person with mental or emotional health problems. 




  • Often in the life of someone suffering from a mental illness, a sense of family is missing.  The support we get from a drop-in center is a sense of family to us. 


  • Along with the sense of family, comes the sense of home.  Many participants come to the center because it is like “home” to them.  A place that is familiar, predictable, and safe.  There are always others at the center who care and understand. 


  • Individuals come to the center to share their lives.  Even individuals that have been away from the center for a while always know they can come “home” to share their successes and their challenges.  Nowhere can we find this same unconditional acceptance and support that the center provides.