by Heidi Riley
Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) PEI Division Clubhouse programs in Charlottetown, Summerside and Alberton provide recovery-focused rehabilitation supports for individuals who have experienced mental illness.
Based on an international model of recovery, Clubhouse programs use a person-centred holistic approach that offers a variety of services and supports geared to the individual Clubhouse member.
The program focuses on personal choice, relationships, community, collaboration, and contributing to meaningful work. Members have the opportunity to set personal goals and access supports such as education, employment, and housing, and become members of a supportive and restorative community.
There are three locations on PEI: Fitzroy Centre in Charlottetown, Notre Dame Place in Summerside, and Hope Centre in Alberton, with a total of about 40 employees.
“We offer a wide range of supports and services to assist individuals with their personal goals and recovery journey,” says Lisa Chaisson, Employment Unit Coordinator with Fitzroy Centre Clubhouse, Canadian Mental Health Association-PEI Division.
“Supports include prevocational training, skill development, employment, education, housing, wellness and social programs, advocacy, referrals and more.
“Our social rehabilitation programs focus on individual strengths, talents, and skills. When we work with people, we start with where they are. We do not want to set them up to be unsuccessful.
“Barriers clients face include cost of living, inflation, employment post-COVID-19, and mental health.”
Clubhouse services include vocational training, employment, education, housing, wellness and social programming. “We have two very unique programs for our members: One program has clients working within the clubhouse, doing jobs such as receptionist, canteen worker, and culinary.
“The Transitional Employment program is for people not ready to go out into the workforce independently. Clients work in short-term placements in the community for 2 to 12 hours per week. When positions are posted, a primary person and a back-up person are selected, and the job coach will cover the position if necessary, which guarantees coverage for the employer.”
The Clubhouse also offers an Adult Education and Essential Skills program. “Some clients have so much anxiety that they cannot go to Holland College to write their pre-assessment test. A Holland College instructor comes to the Clubhouse to administer the prep test, and if successful, clients can go on to write the GED.”
Other resources offered include visiting guest speakers, health and wellness opportunities, learning about people’s illnesses, backgrounds and life challenges.
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