Melissa Goldberg was a loving daughter and sister. She was an outstanding student at the Columbus School for Girls, a fierce competitor on the tennis court, vibrant and fun-loving. Despite Melissa’s personality and love for life, the seeds of her mental illness were always there. Melissa struggled with anorexia in her pre-teen years and was eventually diagnosed with schizoid affective disorder at the age of 24.
After her diagnosis, Melissa spent many years in and out of mental health facilities. As Melissa tried to cope with the effects of her illness, the Goldberg family worked hard to find a treatment residence for her. They wanted a place that was safe, comfortable, welcoming and supportive. They never found what they were looking for. Melissa died at the age 36 of a brain aneurysm. At the time of her death she was in the psychiatric ward at The OSU Medical Center.
The Goldberg’s experience is not unique. While numerous studies indicate one’s environment can positively influence recovery, finding warm, nurturing, comfortable residences for individuals living with mental illness is still difficult. The need far outweighs the supply. Melissa’s House is determined to change that. Partnering with mental health housing organizations, Melissa’s House updates and renews existing group residences with aesthetic changes, creating environments that advance healing and recovery and positively affect individuals living with mental illness and those who love and support them.
Numerous studies indicate one’s environment can positively influence recovery. The 2010 Department of Veterans Affairs New Mental Health Design Guide states “Patient care areas that incorporate access to exterior environments, color, art, pleasant furnishings and other components of a warm environment have been shown to advance health and recovery.”
- Read the Department of Veterans Affairs Study
- Read The Effect of the Physical Environment on Mental Wellbeing
In Central Ohio there are well more than 1700 residences for individuals living with mental illness. Often the funding is not available to create the type of environment that can help promote recovery, thereby improving the well-being of the residents. That’s where Melissa’s House steps in.
Who We Are
Melissa’s House is a non-profit organization fueled by dedicated volunteers who understand that individuals struggling with mental illness are more than a disease.
Many have us have watched our sons, daughters, sisters, brothers, friends and neighbors struggle with a mental illness, ranging from depression to schizophrenia.
We understand that for many, a supportive, comfortable and nurturing environment will be critical to their recovery. Thus, we are focused on updating and renewing existing group residences with aesthetic changes in order to positively impact the well-being of those who live and work there. That is our goal, thereby restoring Hope.
Elaine and Nate Goldberg—Melissa’s House Founders
Jeff Knupp— Melissa’s House Chairman
Kathy Shkolnik —Melissa’s House Project Administrator and Event Director
For more information please contact:
Melissa’s House Project Administrator and Event Director