Tips & Strategies: Issue #5



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Calling Clubhouse Heroes!

Do you have a colleague who’s gone above and beyond for your Clubhouse Community? Someone you’re just grateful to work with? We’re collecting suggestions for a Clubhouse Heroes: Stories of Gratitude series for next month when we will celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month. Send us a brief profile about someone in the Clubhouse community who you’re grateful for and why they’re a hero to you! It could be staff, a member, a board member — anyone who is in some way connected to and impacts your Clubhouse. Please limit your submission to 200 words or less. If your submission is selected, we’ll ask for a photo. Send your submission to Teri Chadwick at

Clubhouse International continues to meet with Coalition and Clubhouses across the globe to share information, helpful strategies and learn new ways of supporting members during the COVID-19 Crisis. This past week over 20 colleagues from the following Clubhouses in the Republic of Korea joined Joel Corcoran and Jack Yatsko from Clubhouse International to share their stores of hope, community and resiliency.

Highlights of their virtual Clubhouses include: Taiwha FH has 69 members continuing to work!; Daily lunch box deliveries; Virtual exercise and learning programs; Morning and afternoon virtual meetings; Robust communication via chat forums. We Are Not Alone!

  • Taiwha Fountain House
  • Seadaemun Haebeotnuri
  • Nulpoorum  
  • Song-guk Clubhouse 
  • Vitamin 
  • Johann Village
  • Heemangseam  
  • Chamsari Clubhouse
  • Saebeot Clubhouse  
  • Taiwha Sunrising Clubhouse

How My Clubhouse is Helping Me Navigate This Pandemic!

By Karen Christ, member of Genesis Club, Worcester Massachusetts, and Clubhouse International Faculty

  • Having our daily Unit Meetings (Genesis Club is using WebEx) is extremely helpful as it provides some sense of normalcy and structure. Each unit has these meetings twice a week.
  • Reminders about these Unit Meetings are posted ahead of time on each unit’s Facebook page. Posting these reminders is a task that a member usually agrees to do, “side-by-side” virtually with staff.

There is an Agenda for the unit meeting (click here for a sample of one our unit meeting agendas). The agenda is typed up (another meaningful task) and a member and staff team facilitate the unit meeting. Everything on the agenda creates tasks/meaningful work for both staff and members.

Genesis Club has a general, main Facebook page, but each unit also has its own Facebook page. Having these Facebook Pages creates lots of possibilities for meaningful work, such as:

  • Updating the page with daily posts (For example: “Good Morning, everyone! How are you all doing today?”). It’s amazing how many members – and staff – post replies to these general questions. It keeps everyone feeling connected. We post informative things, each of which requires work for members/staff to do ahead of time, for instance:
  • Research articles with information that might be helpful during this coronavirus crisis, i.e., Mental Health Wellness Tips, or where to find certain types of help if you need it (i.e., food assistance, medical assistance, mental health assistance, etc.)
  • Our unit has posted some fun videos of people out walking, describing nature as they walk, the weather, other funny stories, etc., and these are uploaded to Facebook. Both staff and members have made these. Some have even posted videos of recipes of things they’re making at home to help pass the time. The Kitchen Unit has a daily post from staff member Ryan called “Lunch with Ryan” and it’s hysterical – about what’s he’s having for lunch that day, how he’s made it, what it looks like – but it’s all really funny.
  • Our unit is of course doing daily outreach (as is each unit). The members of our unit have been divided equally among the staff, who ensure that calls and/or texts and/or e-mails are made daily to members. Members “sign up” for a lot of these calls. Most of the time we try to make them “conference calls,” with a staff member and at least one, sometimes two members on the call as well. We’ve had some really good, connecting calls this way. This morning I made two such calls with one of our staff.
  • During the Unit Meeting we go over our “Birthday List.” We’ve been discussing various ways to be sure we remember members’ birthdays. This is generating unit work. We’ve made calls to members, of course, but we’re also researching other ways (members and staff teams), such as making a Google doc-type card that everyone can sign which can then be sent, or obtaining membership with an e-card company/website for a very small annual fee where you can send an unlimited number of all types of greeting cards to members, with the ability to add personalized messages signed by “the Unit.’
  • We’ve made some “house calls” as outreach, too. As an example, one member lost her sister a couple of weeks ago. One unit member made a beautiful card, and another member, who is an extremely talented baker, made a gorgeous batch of cookies. The baker dropped off the cookies at the Clubhouse. Yet another member picked up the card from the first member’s house, then stopped at the Clubhouse, picked up the cookies, and then dropped off both card and cookies on the porch of the member who was grieving. It was a really good example of members coordinating meaningful work to help another member.
  • We’ve also created a specific outreach list of members who are struggling because they don’t have the technology to keep up with Unit Meetings virtually or to stay connected with the Clubhouse via social media. We were just awarded $10,000 from the Greater Worcester Community Foundation for general emergency funds and we are using it specifically to help members acquire the technology they need during this crisis to help them stay connected. We’ve been making 2-3 purchases a day in this regard, and everything around this issue has created meaningful work: finding out who needs the iPad with larger numbers, whose computer is broken, who doesn’t have internet access, etc.; who will place the purchase order for whatever we need to buy; who will make the purchase; who will bring it to the porch of the member’s house; and who will follow-up with instructions by phone or video-conferencing if the member needs a learning curve on the new equipment, etc.
  • Our unit is also keeping track of our members’ goals and Action Plans. We have forms to use during conference calls with members to go over their Action Plans. For instance, I, a staff member and another member agreed at yesterday’s Unit Meeting to partner on this. She sent me the blank Comprehensive Assessment and Goal Form we’re using for our annual Action Plans, as well as the March and April Action Plan lists. The more of these that we can complete now, and not fall behind, the better it will be for the unit. But we’re also hoping it will be a good process for members who need a plan, as they can have a thoughtful phone conversation to identify what goals they’d like to work on at the Clubhouse this year.

Member Musings: Life in the Time of Physical Distancing

Click here for reflections of members of Austin Clubhouse, Texas, as they find strength and meaning through their experiences of living through the crisis of COVID-19. (pictured here: Ashley)

Fundraising Tips

We’re seeing announcements for available funds for tele-health programs (click here for an example).

Research online for what’s available in your region or click here to check out this potential resource.