Thursday, February 25, 2016

This is a shout out to all BJC BH caseworker and case managers. There are a lot of mental health clients that needs your help and our help! What I mean is simple. “The Friends in Action Clubhouse” that I have been a member of since October 2015 is a place that has turned my life around. With the help of the other members and staff, they have helped me through some rough and trying times. The members and staff are the most awesome people I have ever met. What I’m saying is that if you have a client that you would like to come to the Clubhouse. Please bring them! Unit team member Mike conducts a “Lunch and Learn” on the 1st Wednesday and 3rd Thursday of each month. Believe me he loves to talk about the Clubhouse!!! If you can’t talk your client into coming and you believe they could benefit from it, just call unit team member Tonya and she will have the mobile outreach contact them.

Please, let us help you; help them. Their life may depend on it!
Kenny O

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Hey You GUYS!!

Listen to me, I have been a client of BJC-Behavioral Health for two years now. I have been depressed and at times suicidal. I have been with three total caseworkers at BJC. It took my current caseworker putting me in the hospital over my third attempt at suicide for me to find what I needed.

My current caseworker knew my situation *skit-chee-ay-shun*, but had never mentioned this place called Friends in Action Clubhouse, that’s right BJC-BH has a Clubhouse. My situation was that I was stuck out in the middle of nowhere with nothing to do except to think about bad things. I had nowhere to go… ANYWHO… While driving home one day me caseworker asked “Hey, have you ever tried the Clubhouse?” I replied “WHAT? We have a Clubhouse?” She stated “Yeah, it’s amazing. It will give you a place to go; you will get to visit with people who have mental illness.” “Really?” I was intrigued, but a little unsure.

So she made a phone call and BAM,I’M IN. For real what I am trying to tell you here is if you are stuck “la la land” with nothing to do and nowhere to go, you MUST try the Clubhouse. The people here are amazing. They do not treat you like a client here, you become like family. I have spent three holidays with Friends in Action Clubhouse, we are like one big family.

It will cost you nothing, but time. No way to get there? They will pick you up and take you back home. Living in an RCF? We teach you the skills you need to live independently. For real, check it out! Do the “truffle shuffle” on over and check us out. Ask your caseworker, they will hook you up!!
-Kenny O

Friday, January 22, 2016

Employment and Education in the Clubhouse

For many of the members at Friends In Action, personal goals which include employment and/or education may feel as though they are out of reach. Due to unfortunate circumstances in life, many have had a long break in work history or no work history at all. Many of our members have had difficulty holding a job due to their mental illness. Many feel as though they are forever resigned to a life of disability. Many have been told that they cannot or should not strive for employment. Many have felt the stigma associated with mental illness while seeking employment.
Through the Friends In Action employment program some of our members have been able to return to paid employment in the community. Employment is a right of membership for any member of our clubhouse. Assistance is offered through transitional employment, supported employment and independent employment. The employment program assists our members in exploring various job fields, build strengths and have a work history.
The transitional employment (TE) program is an important first step for many members that wish to enter the work force. An accredited clubhouse should have TE placements for 20% of the average daily attendance. Through the TE program the clubhouse develops relationships with businesses in the community. These businesses provide the clubhouse with a job position to keep filled. The length of a TE placement for our members is usually 6-9 months. There is no competitive interview process. The selection and training of the employee is the responsibility of the clubhouse placement manager. The clubhouse member then becomes a regular, albeit temporary, employee of the participating business. All TE placements should be entry level and part time positions that require no special skills. The only requirement for participate in the TE program is a desire to work. Placement opportunities for our members should continue regardless of previous success in TE placements. Members that are working in a TE placement work at the employer’s place of business and are paid prevailing wage. There should be NO TE placements within the clubhouse. The clubhouses auspice agency can have a TE placement, but they must be off site from the clubhouse and meet all other criteria. There are NO segregated clubhouse enterprises or sheltered workshops. The characteristic of the TE program that differentiates it from other employment programs is that the clubhouse guarantees coverage on all placements. If the member needs to call out for their shift it is the placement manager’s job to cover their shift at the place of employment. At times the placement manager will also work with the member during their shift if they need additional support due to the symptoms of their mental illness or with their job performance.
Supported employment (SE) is the most logical next step for a member that is on the road to independent employment. With the SE program the clubhouse maintains a relationship with the member and the employer, but does not guarantee coverage. The clubhouse member and unit staff work together to determine the type and frequency of support. According the Clubhouse International standards 12.5 % or the clubhouse average daily attendance should have started supported or independent employment in the past 12 months (including jobs they no longer have).
When a member is engaged in independent employment he/she will continue to have clubhouse supports available to them. They will be able to attend the work ordered day and evening, weekend and holiday events when possible.
Sometimes education is more important to a member than employment. They say that education is the work of the youth. Clubhouse assists members in taking advantage of educational opportunities in the community. Members at The Friends In Action Clubhouse are currently engaged in GED classes, college classes and technical programs. Clubhouse utilizes the talents and tutoring skills of members to assist others with homework, etc. Members that are engaged in these educational programs are encouraged to attend clubhouse work ordered day and event, weekend and holiday events when possible.
The employment and education program at Friends In Action assists our members in improving their self-esteem, which in turn assists them in reaching their other goals. A member reaching their goals and becoming more independent is what the clubhouse is all about.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

“I’ve come to believe that each of us has a personal calling that’s as unique as a fingerprint - and that the best way to succeed is to discover what you love and then find a way to offer it to others in the form of service, working hard, and also allowing the energy of the universe to lead you.” –Oprah Winfrey

Monday, January 11, 2016

New Year's Resolution

Don't forget the importance of keeping up with your New Years Resolution! Some people simply fall into a slump. They’ll have a bad day and think that one bad day destroys everything they’ve work on so far. This is simply not true. We need to stick to our goals and encourage others to stay positive so they stay on track and do better the next time.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Trying something new for lunch today.

Today at the clubhouse we are trying somethhing new called 'tater taco skins'. This unique treat was different and everyone was egar to try. Iit's sure to be a hit for everyone who tries it! What is your favoirte kitchen mash up meal?

Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 has been an exciting year at Friends in Action Clubhouse.

According to Clubhouse International Standards, our clubhouse should be open five days a week, including holidays. This is our first year of being open for the holiday’s and the response has been wonderful. We had so much fun planning and cooking for them. Party hats and all the decorations made the clubhouse look really festive for 30 members on New Year’s Day. 40 people came to enjoy a pot luck lunch on Memorial Day. You would not believe all the food we had. How can you resist BBQ brats and hot dogs on the July 4with 34 of your clubhouse family? This year was our second year for hosting Thanksgiving Dinner and again we had 23 members at the dinner. Christmas dinner was the best; we had ham, Kelly’s Homemade stuffing, and everything else that we could think of. That day 24 members arrived to join in on the fun.

Happy New Year's
From Friends in Action Clubhouse