Harmony House is here to help

Harmony House provides a support system for those who have struggled with mental illness and addiction and has existed for over 30 years in Warren County. Peer Support Center Director Charity Perry runs Harmony House in McMinnville and has a special connection to the center.

“We’re here for anyone who has been or is currently in recovery from mental health or addiction issues,” she said. “So as peers or people with learned experiences, we have a kind of symbiotic relationship. They help us, we help them.

Harmony House is not a clinical organization but rather a peer support center where someone struggling can relax, connect and learn more about mental health. Perry said the nonprofit provides opportunities for growth, has support groups, runs mental health and addictions classes, and does community service.

“Of course, we socialize. That’s what we’re doing right now. They’re in there playing cards and watching TV,” Perry added. The center regularly sees around 5 to 15 people, but Perry said he’s seen around 35 people this year. With board games, a TV and exercise equipment, the center is full of social opportunities. “The air hockey table is pretty popular,” Perry said.

“I’m working on getting a younger crowd here,” Perry said. “Unfortunately, many mental health and addiction issues develop before the age of 24.” The facility now has video games and internet access for visitors to Harmony House to try to encourage young people who are also struggling with mental health and addiction issues.

Before the pandemic, Perry opened what she called the “Chore Store” which is an area in the center with hygiene products and clothing offered to regular visitors. “Originally, a lot of stuff came out of the Nashville Community Resource Center. They had a lot of donations back then, like from Cracker Barrel and Pottery Barn. We ended up by a lot of luck,” Perry said. These random items are usually used for prizes in games.

Harmony House is a peer support center that works with Cheer Mental Health as part of the Voluntary Behavioral Health Care System. Johnson Mental Health Center Director of Community Outreach, Jed Mascon, also under Volunteer Behavioral Health, visited Harmony House and praised the center, saying, “What a group of us have been witness, by Charity and her team, was a true concept of compassion and how this simple gesture in life can play such an important role for those who struggle lifelong with mental health. He continued, “It’s amazing what’s going on inside this little building that allows people to lead productive lives. In fact, there is a member who has been going to the Maison de l’harmonie for 27 years.

Harmony House is located at 605 Red Road. If you have mental health or addiction issues, visit Cheer Mental Health at 120 Omni Drive or call 473-9649.

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