The poet

NAMI and the Midwest Writing Center Partner to Present “Journaling for Mental Health” Workshop March 15

Free Virtual Workshop on Using Writing to Help Manage Mental Health

What: Journaling for Mental Health, presented by NAMI and the Midwest Writing Center
When: Monday, March 15, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. CST
Where: Online, via private Zoom meeting
Cost: $10 suggested donation (split between NAMI and MWC); free
For more information, please visit:

Maintaining our mental health is as important as taking care of our physical health; this has perhaps never been more true than it has been during the pandemic. Writing, specifically journal writing, is one way to nurture your mental health while expressing yourself. To learn how start a journaling practice, get a refresher, or simply enjoy more practice, join Christina Wassenhove, Jodie Toohey, and Ryan Collins for a free virtual “Journaling for Mental Health” workshop on Monday, March 15th, at 6:30 p.m. via Zoom, presented by Nami and the Midwest Writing Center.

Jodie Toohey, author and publisher, will serve as moderator and provide some tips for scheduling a regular writing practice and developing a healthy journal writing mindset. Christina Wassenhove, a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and NAMI volunteer, will talk about mental health, why it’s important, and how journaling can be a part of achieving and maintaining mental health. Ryan Collins, teaching artist and MWC Executive Director, will lead participants through journal writing exercises.

There is a $10 suggested donation to attend the workshop. The workshop is free and open to the public. All donations will be split 50/50 between NAMI and the Midwest Writing Center.

To register for the workshop and receive the Zoom meeting information, please contact Ryan Collins at (309) 732-7330, or via email: If you’d like to make a donation and register, please use use the PayPal link below:

Presenter Bios:

Christina Wassenhove is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Iowa and Illinois. She has over 5 years of experience providing therapy to a variety of populations and utilizing eclectic approaches with her clients. She often encourages her clients to journal as a way to cope with mental health stressors and to gain better insight into their own resilience. She currently works for the Robert Young Center as an outpatient therapist and also owns her own private practice, Wags for Wellness Counseling. Her hobbies include running, strength training and taking her dogs on hikes.

Jodie Toohey is the author of nine books: five novels, three poetry, and one non-fiction. She publishes personal stories told via non-fiction, autobiographical fiction, poetry, or a combination of two or all three through her publishing company, Legacy Book Press LLC. She also serves on the Midwest Writing Center board as president. Jodie started journaling on New Year’s Eve, 1984, and since then, has amassed dozens of journals, from the fancy to the simple, spiral-bound, most of which have been vital to her mental health. Learn more about jodie’s books at and about Legacy Book Press LLC at

Ryan Collins is the Executive Director of the Midwest Writing Center, where he directs the Young Emerging Writers Program. He is also an English Instructor at St. Ambrose University, and works as a teaching artist and leads workshops for many schools, libraries, and community organizations in the Illinois/Iowa Quad Cities. He is the author of the poetry collection, A New American Field Guide & Song Book, and five poetry chapbooks. His work has appeared in many anthologies, journals, and magazines, including American Letters & Commentary, Booth, Crazyhorse, DIAGRAM, Handsome, Ninth Letter, PEN Poetry Series, Third Coast, and many others.

This special workshop is supported by the Illinois Arts Council Agency.