Photo by Steve Henke
Andrew Zimmern and Rishia Zimmern
Andrew Zimmern experiences cultural ecosystems all over the world. But a fabulous and public career did not make him immune to mental illness. “Two and a half years ago, our family was in crisis,” he says. His son experienced developmental, behavioral, and mental health issues. Thankfully, someone told his wife, Rishia, about Washburn Center.
What the couple learned was that indeed their whole family was in crisis, not just their son. As Andrew puts it, “A family is an ecosystem. The Center handled our family holistically, offering therapies and treatment plans for our son, my wife, and me as individuals and together.”
The experience was transformational for everyone. Their son’s health improved, and the couple deepened their notions about their place in the ecosystem that is the Twin Cities. Says Rishia, “With the challenges of family life, you need the support of not only your family at large but also your community.”
Today the couple speaks about the Center and gives financial and volunteer support. “Washburn Center is a place of miracles, and they gave us our family back,” Andrew says. “I can never begin to repay that gift.” But they try, because they know they live in an ecosystem that includes all families surrounding their own.
“Wellness and health don’t know race or ethnicity and ignore notions of class or status. They touch us all,” Andrew says. “We all need Washburn, as individuals and, more importantly, as a community.”