Tuesday, November 26, 2013

5th Annual Trivia Night was a $2106 Success for Project Clubhouse

Thirteen teams participated in our 5th annual Trivia fundraiser Saturday evening, November 9th and helped raise money for our building fund. To date, all five trivia nights has raised a total of $9166.50.

We want to thank the North, South, and SE sites, Clubhouse, Kim Gladstone, and Jean Riley for their contributions toward the raffle. We sold $490 worth of raffle tickets and gave away 8 prizes!

Clubhouse members were able to form a team from the generous $100 contribution from BJC BH Leadership. We received three other $100 donations and a $20 donation from various individuals in addition to the money from the participants.

The Project Clubhouse Committee is the fundraising committee to raise funds to relocate the clubhouse to a larger facility so we can serve more BJC BH clients. The committee received a lot of feedback from Saturday’s participants so we are already making plans for our 6th Annual Trivia Night.

BRIDGES is returning to the SE site

Ramona Taylor, Program Director for BRIDGES, spent three days in Farmington providing a “train the teacher” course for BRIDGES. Six clubhouse members completed the training and are now ready to begin teaching the 10-week education course.

An Open House is scheduled for Wednesday, November 20 from 11:00-1:00 at the SE site. This is the opportunity for consumers and staff to learn about the program. The 10-week course (2 hour long sessions each week) will begin Wednesday, November 27 from 11:00-1:00.

This FREE 10-week Education Course is a peer-to-peer, consumer-run course offering information about mental illness, treatment, self-help skills and the philosophy of recovery. The goal of each session is to empower students to take an active role in their treatment and recovery. BRIDGES is based on the belief that individuals living with psychiatric symptoms “can and do recover a new and valued sense of self and purpose” by meeting the challenges of an illness that can affect every aspect of life.

Friends in Action Clubhouse moving toward the “true” Clubhouse Model

Staff members, Anna Portell and Donna Gilliam, along with clubhouse member, Samantha completed a 3-week training at the Independence Center (IC) which is the first step toward accreditation through Clubhouse International. Friends in Action Clubhouse (FIA) was one of three clubhouses participating in the training. Karen Miller, Associate Director, joined us the third week of training, along with Directors and Board Members associated with Magnolia Clubhouse of Cleveland, Ohio and Crossroads Clubhouse in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Samantha described her experience as, “we spent three weeks learning about the ‘ins and outs’ of what we need to be an accredited clubhouse and we learned how we can get help from other clubhouses.” Attending this training has been a five year goal for the SE site and we are so appreciative that the cost was approved in the 2013 budget!

The three week training consisted of engaging in the work ordered day at Independence Center, many hours of reading material related to the 36 Clubhouse Standards and discussion groups on that material, as well as tours of the IC housing and employment opportunities.

The International Standards for Clubhouse Programs define the Clubhouse Model of rehabilitation. The Standards serve as a “bill of rights” for members and a code of ethics for staff, board and administrators. The Standards insist that a Clubhouse is a place that offers respect and opportunity to its members.

FIA had been operating as the Psychosocial Rehabilitation Program of BJC Behavioral Health, SE site using a “mixed bag” model. That is, half of the day was the work ordered day then the other half was structured groups/activities. According to Clubhouse Standards, the structured groups do not belong in the clubhouse setting (due to the clinical aspect) and the social/leisure activities should occur after the work ordered day-- evenings, weekends, and holidays.

As FIA moves closer to accreditation, eight action plans are in full force. The full work ordered day with members and staff building relationships as they run the clubhouse together is occurring, while the Evening/Weekend/Holiday (EWH) Program will begin on Thanksgiving Day as members and staff will celebrate together with a meal. Other action plans include developing an outreach program, changing the staff-member relationship from hierarchal to collegial, defining the space within the clubhouse to allow both members and staff to access all areas, developing a Transitional Employment Program (TEP), adding an education element, and developing the FIA Advisory Board.

Recently FIA members and staff spent the day at Harmony House, the clubhouse in Washington, MO affiliated with Crider Health Center. We participated in three of their meetings, enjoyed lunch with members and staff from their clubhouse and engaged in a ‘question-answer’ session. As part of the action plans, in addition to visiting the three Missouri accredited clubhouses, FIA members and staff have begun reading articles from the IC training and meeting for philosophical discussions to help everyone understand fully what is needed (and why it is needed) to change so the clubhouse is fulfilling the intent of all 36 standards. Members and staff from Independence Center will be guiding Friends in Action through the philosophical discussions and are available for assistance with all eight action plans.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Fund Raisers

Fundraising at the Clubhouse

It has been fund raising time at the clubhouse. Members voted and organized a yard sale and a pancake and sausage fundraiser here at Friends in Action. These events were both held in October.

Members, staff and people from the community donated lots of items for the yard sale. After a couple of small bumps in the road we finally got to have the yard sale at the BJC office in Farmington on October 4th. We had plenty of volunteers to come out and help. The temperature was nice and the rain held off. We raised a total of $527.65 for the clubhouse.

The Pancake and Sausage Breakfast was held on October 12th. This was our first attempt at having a fund raising breakfast. It was definitely a learning experience. Members and staff got up early and arrived at the clubhouse at 5:30AM to start making the pancakes and sausage. The turnout was not as great as we would have liked. It was a little rainy and there was another pancake breakfast for a different agency on the same day we had ours. Next year will be better! We already have some ideas to, hopefully, make it better. We made a profit of $61.94 at our first Pancake and Sausage fund raiser.

The money that we have raised with these two events will be used for scholarships for members of the clubhouse to attend conferences. Some of the members attended the Real Voices and Real Choices consumer conference in August. They say “a good time was had by all,” and they learned some things as well. Clubhouse staff and seven members will be attending the NAMI State conference at The Resort at Point Arrowhead on November 8th, 9th, and 10th this year. We will be learning about current issues within the NAMI organization as well as other mental health news and information. We will then bring our newfound knowledge back to the clubhouse to share with everyone.

I would like to take this time to thank all who volunteered to assist with our fundraising events at the clubhouse. We are involved in many fundraisers throughout the year. Not only do we raise money for conference scholarships, but we fundraise for the Project Clubhouse building fund and other worthy causes. If anyone would like to volunteer their time for future events at the clubhouse, give us a call at 573-431-9620.