July 10, 2020
North Country Community Mental Health (NCCMH) is reopening its two Clubhouse programs on July 13. The Clubhouse programs, Petoskey Club in Petoskey and New Horizons Clubhouse in Rapid City, will open three days per week.
Clubhouses focus on expanding social connections and providing mental health support for people who often feel isolated from the broader community.
Along with many other businesses, COVID-19 forced the Clubhouses to temporarily close their physical locations when social distancing orders were put in place. The Clubhouses play an integral role in their members’ mental health recovery process by helping people regain confidence and opportunities diminished by mental illness.
While the Clubhouses have been closed, Petoskey Club and New Horizons Clubhouses rapidly adapted their “Work-Ordered Day Program” to function virtually and continue supporting their through food deliveries, telephone outreach, mailings to individual members, telehealth services, Facebook, and videoconferencing to facilitate meetings and interactive activities.
Jama Moffett, Petoskey Club Director, said the extensive outreach has helped people keep connected and supported.
“I’m so proud of the tremendous efforts our colleagues have made to continue offering Clubhouse and other mental health services to our members virtually,” said Moffett. “The use of technology has become vital for our program when coupled with the compassionate desire to foster wellness and stability. Yet, we know that socialization and routines are key to improving mental health, so we are eager to return to interacting in person. People need to experience a tangible sense of belonging and purpose.”
Lynn Hershberger, New Horizons Club Director, explained that there have been new protocols prepared for a safe and effective phased reintegration into the physical facility. “New protocols include temperature checks and screening for COVID-19 symptoms before entering the building, requiring everyone to wear masks, maintaining physical distancing within the Clubhouse space, expanded and enhanced cleaning and disinfecting processes, and other safety measures,” said Hershberger.
Initially, both Clubhouses will welcome limited numbers of members three days per week. The Virtual Clubhouse meetings and telehealth services will continue to be offered for those not able or ready to return to the physical space.
Clubhouses offer people living with mental illness opportunities for friendship, employment, housing, education and assistance with accessing healthcare services in a single caring and safe environment so they can recover and fully participate as valued and respected members of society. Members have the opportunity to participate in the work of the Clubhouse which includes daily tasks, administration, research, enrollment and orientation, reach out, hiring, training and evaluation of staff, public relations, advocacy, and much more. Members operate the Clubhouse side by side as colleagues, and are appreciated for their strengths while encouraged to learn new things and are assisted in completing their own recovery goals.
To learn more about Petoskey Club, please contact Jama Moffett at (231) 347-1786.
To learn more about New Horizons Clubhouse in Rapid City, please contact Lynn Hershberger at (231) 331-4821.
North Country Community Mental Health provides services to residents of Antrim, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Emmet, Kalkaska and Otsego Counties experiencing a serious mental illness, severe emotional problem, or intellectual/developmental disability, including individuals with co-occurring substance use disorder. Persons wishing to know more about the agency are encouraged to visit www.norcocmh.org or to access services call 877-470-7130.