Friday, May 30, 2014

Miss Betty's May Update

Our clubhouse has friends all over. We have reached out to other clubhouses around the world. We have been in contact with them through the magic of the net. We even have pictures showing some of our global friends. We are glad to have a interpreter application so we can read what they wrote to us. It’s fun to see and hear from other clubhouses in Europe, South America, and Asia.

The catering business is growing by leaps and bounds. We have a big job catering for the Peer Specalist group in Farmington for the whole week. We still cater for the CQI group and the newly combined Art council/advisory board. We also still cater for other groups outside of BJC such as the Life Center and NAMI meetings.

Our floral center has been moved upstairs since we now have the Canteen and Exercise center down stairs. It is slow right now, but we hope to pick up as the holidays are coming up.
All the changes have made it hard for some to adjust to them all. We are a work in progress learning and growing daily.

Something exciting is that we have all seen the floor plan for our new clubhouse. We all added our ideas about what we would like to see and any changes we might like. It looks like such a wonderful place and we are all eager to see it start being built. The open house for the new ‘Friendship House’ apartments will be on June 17, 2014. East Missouri Action Agency is already taking applications to get them filled. We all are ready for the building of the clubhouse to get started. Lots of excitment over this new project has been building and is the subject of many conversations.

Of course, since it is getting warm, we have already put out our garden in front of the building. The garden was a huge success last year and we are really looking forward to some fresh vegetables. We hope we have no moles this year.

We are starting to get new and more support for the new clubhouse changes a little at a time. There is much room for improvement. As always, change brings little and sometimes big bugs to be worked out, but we are coming together. Our clubhouse—no matter the changes—is still the best place to come to learn and grow as a family of friends. We support each other and cheer each other on as more of the group get jobs or go into independent living apartments. Others start going to school or join groups that are helping them grow into the kind of people they would like to be.

As always, we are ‘Friends in Action.’ We support, encourage, praise, and just give a good old pat on the back or a shoulder to cry on.  
--Betty W.

Friday, May 23, 2014

My Journey to Independent Living

The Friend in Actions Clubhouse has helped become independent. In the last couple of days I have moved into my own apartment from a RCF. The way the clubhouse has helped is giving me a place to come and work on becoming my own person through the IL program. I have lived in Residential Care Facility since 2009. This is the first time being on my own and I am very excited. Thanks to the wonderful people in my life and helping me get here. Without the help of my CSS, Friends in Action, the RCF staff , and my guardian I wouldn’t be where I’m today. Living in my own place, hospital free for over 2 years and a RESPECT speaker. I have overcome my own stigma with my mental illness through all of this. And have learned that I'm not alone on the journey in life. I have people that I can turn to and ask question if need. This has been along time coming for me. I have been struggling with self-sabotaging behaviors and other things in my life. Without the help of DBT and Friends in Action staff Dawn helping me through it I would not be out on my own. Thanks again.

Tina W

Friday, May 16, 2014

Mental Health Walk

The second annual St. Francois County Mental Health Awareness Walk was a success. The weather was beautiful and the turnout was great. BJC BH along with the St. Francois County Mental Health Board and NAMI of Southeast Missouri sponsored this year’s Mental Health Awareness Walk.

The purpose of this event was to raise money for NAMI of Southeast Missouri and to educate the public about mental illness. There were 87 members of the community who participated to support our local NAMI chapter and to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness. We had 20 vendor and sponsors that set up booths at the walk to provide information and fun free give a ways for the attendees. There were 16 employees from the BJC BH Southeast Site that attended the walk. Some of them volunteered to assist and others came out to support a good cause and participate in the walk. Nineteen members from the Friends in Action Clubhouse joined in the walk and assisted with any tasks that needed completed during the event.

A big thank you goes out to Driver Mike for getting up early and having everyone at the walk on time. Karen Adams from the St. Francois County Mental Health Board was our emcee this year and started off with a few words. Dot L. and Chris W. (RESPECT speakers) shared stories of their struggles with mental illness and how they have triumphed. Karen Miller from BJC BH and Susan Valle from NAMI also addressed the crowd.

The walkers had the option of a short walk or a longer trail. Everyone finished the walk with no problems and a good time was had by all! After the walk, door prizes were given out. These prizes were donated by members of the community. We had everything from hair care products to hats and t-shirts. The Pampered Chef vendor gave away a very nice pizza stone as well.

We raised a grand total of $1437.50 for NAMI of Southeast Missouri. The money will be used to assist members of the community that are in need. Thank You to everyone that came out and supported our cause. If you would like to be involved in next year’s walk feel free to contact us at the Friends in Action Clubhouse at 573-431-9620.

Mike H

The 2nd Annual St Francois County Mental Health Awareness Walk

It was really larger than life. Come on and all to be part of something that is greater than yourself. By blotting out the stigma and labels that have stereo typed so many Americans. By coming together and communicating and telling their stories we will reach the heart of St. Francois and surrounding counties. Straight from the heart.

Curtis E

Friday, May 2, 2014

Day at Busch Stadium

Monday was a blast!!! We went to the St. Louis Cardnials game at Busch Stadium. There were 17 people that went and we had all kinds of fun. We cheered the Cardnials on but they lost to the Brewers 5 to 3. It took 12 innings to do this. We stopped twice, once on way up for dinner and on the way back to get something to eat or drink. My thoughts of the night are that it was long and tiring. But also alot of fun,the Cardnials made two homeruns in one inning which was neat to see. Clubhouse offers alot of fun activies for us to do in the evening or weekends. We are working toward being a certificated clubhouse. Are next activiy is May 10th which is are Mental Health Walk at 8am to 12pm at Engler Park in Farmington Mo. Which is are 2nd annual walk. Please come out and helps out to fight the stimga on Mental illness.
Tina W.