Renaissance Center

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A new Consumer Center is now open where those facing mental difficulties can get some help.

The Kentucky Consumer Advocate Network, or KYCAN, is a non-profit organization for those with any kind of mental illness.

They've been working for nearly nine months to open a center that will be run by those with a mental difficulty for others with mental difficulties.

They say having this type of center will ultimately benefit our community.

"I am looking forward to helping other people," volunteer, Beverly Autrey said.

Autrey is currently a part of a drug and alcohol substance abuse program.

"I had been using for 28 years and I've been sober and clean for almost a year now," Autrey said.

She's now one of many volunteers who will be helping at the Renaissance Center.

"It's a center that's run by people who have mental difficulties for people with mental difficulties. There's a term called peer support. It's like understanding someone because you've been in their shoes or walked in their shoes," executive director, Doreen Mills said.

Statistics show that some type of mental illness will affect one in four people. This is why those involved say this type of center is a huge step for the state.

"This is the first center of its kind in Kentucky," Renaissance Center director, Ronnie Cross said.

They're hoping it will be a major step in the recovery process.

"A lot of them don't feel that they have a lot of self-worth, and that they aren't wanted by the community," Cross said.

As for Autrey, she said she's living proof that programs such as this do work.

"If you feel the need, that you're needing someone to reach out to listen to you, to help you to live a better supportive life, or just need someone to talk to, we're here. We're here to help you, to serve you, and make this community a better place to live," Autrey said.

The Renaissance Center is located in Bowling Green on State Street and behind the Barren River Health Department.

Those with KYCAN say the city donated the space to them and they just have to pay the electricity.

They plan on having many programs for everyone, from mental health support programs, substance abuse programs, to even education programs.

For more information on the Renaissance Center Program Offerings, click here and for more information on the Kentucky Consumer Advocate Network, click here or to learn more about the Renaissance Center, click here.