Letters of Support

Letters From Political Leaders

April 28, 2017

To Whom It May Concern,

I'm writing to lend my voice to the growing number of community leaders stepping forward in support of the establishment of an Accredited International Clubhouse in Greater Victoria.

In March 2014 a group of moms came to see me at City Hall. They all have adult children struggling with mental health challenges. They had recently learned of the Clubhouse International approach to psychosocial rehabilitation during a visit to the Pathways Clubhouse in Richmond B.C. They sat me down, shared their stories, and outlined the struggles their children face. They then outlined the gaps in the continuum of care in Greater Victoria and pointed to Clubhouse as a patient-centered, recoverybased, employment-focused approach to psychosocial rehabilitation.

They said they were advocating for the establishment of their a Clubhouse in Greater Victoria not only for their own children, but for other adult children, already homeless, already street-entrenched who don't have "mom's like us," as they said.

Since our initial meeting in March 2014 I've been working with the parents group to help bring together relevant stakeholders and make something happen. What moved me to help is that the Clubhouse model is focused on a work-ordered day. In the Clubhouse, members (not patients!) work alongside staff.  And, in order to become accredited, Clubhouses must have a transitional employment program where they partner with local businesses who agree to hire Clubhouse members. If a member is unable to attend herlhis shift at the business, a staff member fills in so their employer is not put out. Access to meaningful, regular work is a key challenge for people living with mental health challenges, yet it is so important for dignity and empowerment.

In the many months that have followed, mental illness, homelessness, lack of affordable housing and poverty are reaching a crisis level in Greater Victoria and in the City of Victoria in particular. As a result, our most vulnerable residents are struggling and need our care, support and attention. While the City of Victoria is taking proactive measures to combat these concerns, it can't be overstated the value that an accredited Clubhouse would provide to the citizens of our region. Since our largest challenge is prevention, and to help people before they end up on the streets, the Clubhouse model would have a major role in the resolution process.

To put it simply, the innovative Connections Place initiative to develop a Clubhouse in the Greater Victoria region is just the type of hands-on community problem solving that we need to encourage. This evidence-based model is a model well worth piloting as homelessness, mental health and housing affordability continue to affect those in our region. The social return on investment is high and the potential savings in policing and health care/acute care costs could be significant. I look forward to continue working with the Mom's Like Us, Island Health and others to move this initiative to fruition.

Sincerely,

Lisa Helps
Mayor or Victoria

April 28, 2017

To Whom It May Concern,

I'm writing to lend my voice to the growing number of community leaders stepping forward in support of the establishment of an Accredited International Clubhouse in Greater Victoria.

In March 2014 a group of moms came to see me at City Hall. They all have adult children struggling with mental health challenges. They had recently learned of the Clubhouse International approach to psychosocial rehabilitation during a visit to the Pathways Clubhouse in Richmond B.C. They sat me down, shared their stories, and outlined the struggles their children face. They then outlined the gaps in the continuum of care in Greater Victoria and pointed to Clubhouse as a patient-centered, recoverybased, employment-focused approach to psychosocial rehabilitation.

They said they were advocating for the establishment of their a Clubhouse in Greater Victoria not only for their own children, but for other adult children, already homeless, already street-entrenched who don't have "mom's like us," as they said.

Since our initial meeting in March 2014 I've been working with the parents group to help bring together relevant stakeholders and make something happen. What moved me to help is that the Clubhouse model is focused on a work-ordered day. In the Clubhouse, members (not patients!) work alongside staff. And, in order to become accredited, Clubhouses must have a transitional employment program where they partner with local businesses who agree to hire Clubhouse members. If a member is unable to attend herlhis shift at the business, a staff member fills in so their employer is not put out. Access to meaningful, regular work is a key challenge for people living with mental health challenges, yet it is so important for dignity and empowerment.

In the many months that have followed, mental illness, homelessness, lack of affordable housing and poverty are reaching a crisis level in Greater Victoria and in the City of Victoria in particular. As a result, our most vulnerable residents are struggling and need our care, support and attention. While the City of Victoria is taking proactive measures to combat these concerns, it can't be overstated the value that an accredited Clubhouse would provide to the citizens of our region. Since our largest challenge is prevention, and to help people before they end up on the streets, the Clubhouse model would have a major role in the resolution process.

To put it simply, the innovative Connections Place initiative to develop a Clubhouse in the Greater Victoria region is just the type of hands-on community problem solving that we need to encourage. This evidence-based model is a model well worth piloting as homelessness, mental health and housing affordability continue to affect those in our region. The social return on investment is high and the potential savings in policing and health care/acute care costs could be significant. I look forward to continue working with the Mom's Like Us, Island Health and others to move this initiative to fruition.

Sincerely,

 

Lisa Helps
Mayor of Victoria

To Whom It May Concern:

Subject:  Clubhouse International in Greater Victoria

As Mayor of the Town of Sidney and on behalf of Council, I am pleased to offer my support for the establishment of a Clubhouse International in Greater Victoria.

Council recently received a presentation from "Moms Like Us" expressing the challenges facing adult children suffering with mental health issues and the gaps in our local support services. They explained the isolation and despair persons with mental illness experience every single day. They were, however, excited to advise us of Clubhouse International and how their programs have helped families and thousands of people get back into life.

Clubhouse International is a global, non-profit organization that helps communities by offering programs based on respect, hope and encouragement to those suffering with mental illness. The programs create opportunities for friendship, employment, housing, education and access to medical and psychiatric services in a single caring and safe environment. Providing those most vulnerable in our community with the support they need will help them live a life of inclusion and personal fulfilment.

Clubhouse Inernational has a proven rehabilitation model that is proactive and preventative. Sidney supports the advocacy of "Moms Like Us' and the establishment of a greatly needed Clubhouse facility in Victoria.

I encourage you to give serious consideration to this initiative and support this very important investment in our community.

Yours truly

Mayor Steve Price

 

To Whom It May Concern:

As the MLA for Victoria-Swan Lake, I am writing on behalf of the "Moms Like Us" to express my support in their application to establish a CMHA Clubhouse model outreach program in Greater Victoria.  In recent years, a number of facilities providing support for individuals with mental health issues have been cut back or closed in our region.  It is critical that we address the growing gap in service for people with mental illness.

I appreciate that the CMHA Clubhouse model provides stability, skills, and support through a structure of work-ordered days for those it serves.  It helps them reclaim their lives through a nurturing environment that focuses on each individual's strengths and talents, rather than their illness.  Moreover this model also benefits those who still provide services and supports in Greater Victoria.

Clubhouse International is already well established in BC communities like Richmond, who have demonstrated positive results.  There is mounting evidence of the success of the Clubhouse model in contributing to clients recovery and reduced emergency psychiatric hospitalization rates.

Again I wholeheartedly support this group of parents application and offer my unqualified support to their efforts to establish this highly valuable program for those living with mental illness in our community.

Sincerely,

Rob Flemming, MLA
Victoria-Swan Lake

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Powell:

Re:  CMHA Pathways Clubhouse

Thank you for the e-mail correspondence of March 7, 2014 in which you seek support for the establishment of a Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Pathways Clubhouse in Victoria.

As Mayor, I certainly acknowledge the invaluable service provided to residents with serious and persistent mental illness through the Pathways Clubhouse operated by the Richmond Branch of the CMHA.  In the supportive, skills-based environment of the Clubhouse, many are helped to reach their educational, employment and relationship goals.  Through the City's Health, Social and Safety Grant Program, Richmond City Council provides an annual grant to support their meal program, as well as to assist with operating expenses.

Should you seek further information about the Pathways Clubhouse, please contact the Executive Director, Dave MacDonald, at 604-276-8834.  He may be able to provide you with advice regarding the establishment of such a facility in your community.

Yours truly,

Malcolm D. Brodie
Mayor

To Whom It May Concern:

Letter of Support for Moms Like Us and an Accredited Greater Victoria Clubhouse

On behalf of the Municipality of Oak Bay, I would like to take this opportunity to express support for the development of an accredited Clubhouse in the Greater Victoria area.

I have had the privilege of meeting with the Moms Like Us group and learning about the positive results of the Clubhouse International model and its mission, which provides people whose lives have been disrupted by mental illness the opportunity to recover meaningful and productive lives through reintegration within the workplace and the community.

Over the years, through my experience as Mayor, as Chair of the Oak Bay Police Board, and as senior litigator for the Victoria Crown Counsel, I am aware of the escalating need for a program that provides structure and support during the stages of a person regaining control of their life.  This program model has proven beneficial to help people stay out of hospital and off the street.

From what I have read about an Accredited Clubhouse, I believe Victoria would benefit a great deal, and I can see this program reducing police interventions and hospital admissions to some degree.

It is a sad reality that our street problem and homelessness is not going to disappear anytime soon, and we need help to reduce the burden on our community and to support those in need.  I would look forward to having such a support system in place for our community.

Yours sincerely,

Nils Jensen
Mayor, District of Oak Bay

Moms Like Us

Re: Clubhouse International Proposal for Victoria, BC

I applaud your initiative in raising support for Clubhouse International to set up a clubhouse in Victoria, BC.  Clubhouses provided essential support to people living with mental illness, by providing spaces to find respect, hope, and opportunities.

As a Member of Parliament for Victoria, I have met frequently with local mental health activisits and organizations, as well as with the Mental Health Commission in Ottawa.  The Mental Health Commission's 2012 report, Changing Directions, changing lives: The mental health strategy for Canada, notes that 46% of Canadians believe that mental illness is used as an excuse for poor behaviour.  The stigma of mental illness "has blighted people's attitudes for far too long," and has led to discrimination against those who need support, respect, treatment, and services.

The Clubhouse International mission is to offer friendship, housing, education, and employment to persons who live with mental illness.  I understand their approach is scientifically proven, and used throughout the world.  Victoria would greatly benefit from such a resource, as mental illness affects everyone, either personally or through friends, family, or coworkers.  I am very supportive of your effort to establish a clubhouse, thereby raising awareness and providing vital support for individuals living with mental illness.

Yours truly,

Murray Rankin, Member of Parliament (Victoria)

Dear Ms. Powell and Ms. Brown:

In recognition of your March 14, 2016 presentation to Saanich Council, I am pleased to write a letter of support on behalf of Council in response to your request to establish an accredited Clubhouse in the Victoria region.

Clubhouse International is already well established in BC communities and I believe that a Clubhouse would be a valuable addition to the Victoria area's services for person's living with mental illness and would have a positive impact on the community.

Sincerely,

Richard Atwell,
Mayor of Saanich

To Whom It May Concern,

On behalf of the Council of the Township of Esquimalt, I am confirming our support of the establishment of an Accredited Clubhouse International in Greater Victoria.

Council recently received a presentation by Mom's Like Us group advocating for the establishment of a Clubhouse in Greater Victoria, a patient-centered, recovery-based, employment-focused approach to psychosocial rehabilitation.

To become accredited, Clubhouses must have a transitional employment program where they partner with locl businesses who agree to hire CLubhouse members.  Access to meaningful, regular work is a key challenge for people living with mental health challenges, yet it is so important for dignity and empowerment.

Mental illness, homelessness, lack of affordable housing and poverty are reaching a crisis level in Greater Victoria and our most vulnerable residents are struggling and need our care, support and attention.  Our largest challenge is prevention, and to help people before they end up on the streets.  This is where an accredited Clubhouse could fill another large gap.

I agree wholeheartedly with Mayor Lisa Helps of the City of Victoria, and her statement that the social return on investment is high and the potential savings in policing and health care/acute care costs could be significant.

The Township of Esquimalt looks forward to being an active stakeholder in this important initiative.

Sincerely,

Barbara Desjardins'
Mayor

To whom it may concern:

I am pleased to offer my support for the establishment of a Clubhouse International facility in the Greater Victoria region.  In recnt years, a number of facilities providing support for individuals with mental health issues have been closed in our region.  It is critical that we address the growing gap in service for people with mental illness.

This September, The Mayors of British Columbia issues a joint statement identifying mental health, addictions and homelessness as a top priority for all B.C. communities.  Not only do we have a social responsibility to ensure that all citizens have access to the supports and services that they need to be healthy, successful members of society, we know that the cost of ignoring mental health issues is far greater than the cost of providing supports.  in fact, the Richmond, BC Clubhouse International boasts a $14 social return on every dollar invested.

Mental health issues account for a high percentage of police calls and emergency hospital visits in Greater Victoria.  Holistic models like Clubhouse International that provide members with opportunities for firendship, employment, housing, education and access to medical and psychiatric services can often relieve preasures on other forms of service while also improving participants' quality of life.  Not only can models like this save money, they can save lives.

In the City of Victoria, we are committed to ending homelessness.  Working with dedicated community partners including Island Health, we have had great success providing housing and supports to some of our community's most vulnerable individuals, many of whom experience mental health issues.  but the commitment to supporting people with mental health issues must not be focused solely on supporting those who are homeless and put the greatest strain on our systems.  We must commit to supporting all individuals with mental illness to live healthy, successful lives.

Clubhouse International is already well established in BC communities like Richmond, who have demonstrated fantastic results.  It is time to explore the potential for establishing a Clubhouse International in the Greater Victoria region.

Sincerly,

Dean Fortin
MAYOR

Re: Clubhouse International - Victoria, BC

I attended an information session of this global organization in May of this year.  I am aware that services are woefully inadequate and that mental health and addiction issues threaten lives, particularly among our youth.  Ottawa has experienced first-hand recently how mental illness can ravage lives if left untreated and ignored.

I offer my fully support to in the establishment of a Clubhouse International in Victoria, BC as soon as possible.  This program will provide people with serious and persistent mental illness a place where theya re welcomed, wanted, needed and expected each day.  I wish you success in your quest to establish such a model in Victoria.

Thank you for helping to raise awareness of this extremely important issue.  Rest assured that I will continue to advocate for improved mental health care.

Sinceely,

Elizabeth May, O.C, M.P.
Member of Parliament for Saanich-Gulf Islands
Leader of the Green Party of Canada

Dear Jackie and Howard Powell,

I am writing to express my support for the establishment of a Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Pathways Clubhouse in Victoria.  Such a facility would provide much-needed additional support in our community for persons living with mental illness.

I appreciate that the CMHA Clubhouse Model provides stability, skills and support through a model of work-ordered days for those it serves. It helps them to reclaim their lives through a nurturing environment that focuses on the person's strengths and talents, rather than their illness.

The personal support, camaraderie, sense of community belonging and hope that Pathways provides is exceptionally important for those it serves.  In other places where Pathways Clubhouses are operational, they are making a big difference both for the members and for those who provide services and support in the greater community.

At a Victoria presentation on the Pathways Clubhouse in Richmond, I was impressed by the focus on support, respect, and on ensuring each idividual has an opportunity to ba a contributing member of the Pathways Clubhouse.  It is an approach that lays a solid foundation for them to go forward into the community and live their lives in productive and satisfying ways.

I would be a great asset to our community to have such a facility up and running here in Victoria, and I wish you success in your pursuit.  You have my support.

Yours sincerely,

Carole James,
MLA, Victoria - Beacon Hill

To Whom It May Concern:

Re: Support to Establish a Clubhouse International in Greater Victoria

At the B.C. Mayor's caucus held September 2014, Mayor's unanimously concluded it a top priority for all communities within Britich Columbia to deal with the rising issue and crisis around mental health, addictions and homelessness.

The City of Colwood recognizes the importance of the creation of an innovative and collaborative space dedicated to creating opportunities, purpose and dignity for those with mental health challenges.

The establishment of a Clubhouse International within Greater Victoria will provide opportunities for people who face mental illness with a safe environment to recover and support productive lives through reintegration within the workplace and community.

The City of Colwood supports the efforts of Moms Like Us to establish a Clubhouse International in the Greater Victoria Area.

On behalf of Colwood Council I would like to applaud Moms Like Us for their efforts to raise awareness of this need and in ensuring those amongst us with challenges are given the opportunity to continue with successful lives through the type of holistic program.

Yours sincerely,

Carol Hamilton, Mayor
City of Colwood

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Powell:

I am writing to you to express my support for bringing a Clubhouse for Mental Illness to the Greater Victoria area.  There are over 400 of these facilities worldwide (eighteen in Canada) and they are seen as an accredited, evidence-based and effective model proven to address the needs of those who suffer from mental disorders.  "Moms Like Us," a local advocacy group, invited me to write a letter of support, given that there is no such resource in Victoria and we know that mental illness is one of the key issues in our community that contributes to poverty, homelessness and substance addiction.  I understand that one in five Canadians will suffer a mental illness in their lifetime and in the Greater Victoria area, police and other agencies have witnessed a significant increase in calls related to mental health cases.

I do hope that Greater Victoria will see a Clubhouse established here, to complement existing mental health programs and services which are overburdened.  As a former Probation Officer, Family Court Counsellor and Family Mediator, I know that many of our so-called criminal cases are less about criminal behaviour and much more about untreated mental illness.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely

Cairine Green
Councillor
District of Oak Bay

To Whom it May Concern:

RE: Canadian Mental Health Association Pathways Clubhouse in Victoria

I am pleased to provide a letter of support to the "Moms Like Us" Group who are working on establishing a CMHA Clubhouse Model outreach program in the Victoria Area.  As the MLS of Oak Bay - Gordon Head, I know personally how valuable these services are for youth who face the challenge and stigma of mental illness.  Young people need a safe place to go where they feel a sense of belonging and purpose.  The CMHA Pathways Clubhouse in Richmond BC has proven very successful and is well supported in the community.  i believe that youth in the Capital Region would benefit tremendously from such a program.

I wish this group of parents every success in their efforts to establish this highly valuable program for youth in our community.

Sincerely,

Andrew Weaver, MLA
Oak Bay - Gordon Head

Dear Jackie and Howard,

I am pleased to join with my colleague Carole James, MLA for Victoria-Beacon Hill, in expressing my enthusiastic support for the establishment of the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Pathways Clubhouse in Victoria.  Opening one here on the South Island would be an enormous benefit for those persons living with mental illness in our community.

In my nine years as an MLA, I have heard of many instances where the CMHA Clubhouse Model has made a difference in the communities it serves.  The program is fabulous at providing stability, skills and support.  It helps those it serves to take back control of their health with a burturing environment that focuses on the person's strangths and talents, rather than their illness.

The personal support, friendship, wonderful sense of belonging and -- of course! -- hope that Pathways provides helps the people it serves reach for their potential and build positive, productive lives.  I strongly believe it would be an exceptional asset to have a Pathways Clubhouse on the South Island, and am pleased to offer my encouragement and support.  Thank you for all you do in our community.

Gratefully yours,

Maurine Karagianis
MLA, Esquimalt Royal Roads

Letters From Medical Professionals

20 April, 2017

To whom it may concern:

Re: Connections Place

I am writing to support the initiative of the Connections Place organization to develop a Clubhouse in the Greater Victoria area for young people and adults living with serious mental illness.  Clubhouses are an important evidence based practice which results in substantially improved outcomes for individuals in terms of successful community living and improved quality of life.  Additionally, Clubhouses are often the entry point for employment programs which are important to recovery.

Because of their effectiveness, Clubhouses are an important component of mental healt services in many BC communities such as Vancouver and Richmond.  Accordingly, The Connections Place initiative to develop a Clubhouse meets a current gap and identified need for services in the Greater Victoria area.

I also wish to mention that the development of an accredited Clubhouse has also been a recommendation of review of mental health services in the South Island area.  As a charitable organization, Connections Place is well positioned to provide the leadership and obtain the resources necessary to develop this Clubhouse.

Sincerely,

 

John Higenbottam, PhD

Faculty Emeritus, Douglas College

Clinical Professor, Psychiatry, UBC

MAY 01, 2017

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:
This is to inform you that I am a retired psychiatrist who practiced in Victoria, BC. 1981- 2012. Last year, I had the privilege of being asked to join the Board of Directors of the newly formed non-profit Connections Place Society in Victoria.

As you know, this passionate impressive group is striving to establish an accredited psychosocial rehabilitation program for individuals with severe mental illnesses. It will be based on the highly successful Clubhouse International model, which was a recipient of the prestigious Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Award in 2014 for extraordinary contributions towards alleviating human suffering.

Connections Place is being mentored by the nationally recognized Richmond, BC Pathways Clubhouse, which has earned a four-star rating from Charity Intelligence Canada. It has a Societal Return on Investment (SROI) of $14 to $1.

After a long career assessing and treating >8000 patients with mental illness and their families, I am acutely aware of the shortcomings in our psychiatric treatment delivery system here in Victoria. The predominant focus is understandably on hospital-based inpatient and outpatient assessment and treatment, and there are well established valuable community-based programs such as the Cool Aid Society, Our Place and Island Community Mental Health.

However, in my opinion there is a dire need for a comprehensive daily program where those individuals with chronic severe mental illnesses can learn to work and socialize within a caring therapeutic community. They will eventually have access to trial employment with businesses that support Connections Place and ultimately be able to secure permanent gainful employment. There will also be supported educational opportunities and eventually housing availability with ongoing support.

There are literally hundreds of mentally ill young adults 18-30 years old currently living unfulfilling lives in the homes of their parents or in substandard basement suites. These lost souls will have a much better chance of living satisfying and happy lives if a Clubhouse International program is available in the Victoria area.

Sincerely yours,

Dr. D. C. Stovel

20 April, 2017

To whom it may concern:

Re:  Connections Place

I am writing to support the initiative of the Connections Place organization to develop a Clubhouse in the Greater Victoria area for young people and adults living with serious mental illness.  Clubhouses are an important evidence based practice which results in substantial improved outcomes for individuals in terms of successful community living and improved quality of life.  Additionally, Clubhouses are often the entry point for employment programs which are important to recovery.

Because of their effectiveness, Clubhouses are an important component of mental health services in many BC communities such as Vancouver and Richmond.  Accordingly, the Connections Place initiative to develop a Clubhouse meets a current gap and identified need for services in Greater Victoria area.

I also wish to mention that the development of an accredited Clubhouse has also been a recommendation of a review of mental health services in the South Island area.  As a chairtable organization, Connections Place is well positioned to provide the leadership and obtain the resources necessary to develop this Clubhouse.

Sincerely

 

John Higenbottam, PhD

Faculty Emeritus, Douglas College

Clinical Professor, Psychiatry, UBC

MAY 01, 2017

 

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:

This is to inform you that I am a retired psychiatrist who practiced in Victoria, BC. 1981- 2012.  Last year, I had the privilege of being asked to join the Board of Directors of the newly formed non-profit Connections Place Society in Victoria.

As you know, this passionate impressive group is striving to establish an accredited psychosocial rehabilitation program for individuals with severe mental illnesses. It will be based on the highly successful Clubhouse International model, which was a recipient of the prestigious Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Award in 2014 for extraordinary contributions towards alleviating human suffering.

Connections Place is being mentored by the nationally recognized Richmond, BC Pathways Clubhouse, which has earned a four-star rating from Charity Intelligence Canada. It has a Societal Return on Investment (SROI) of $14 to $1.

After a long career assessing and treating >8000 patients with mental illness and their families, I am acutely aware of the shortcomings in our psychiatric treatment delivery system here in Victoria. The predominant focus is understandably on hospital-based inpatient and outpatient assessment and treatment, and there are well established valuable community-based programs such as the Cool Aid Society, Our Place and Island Community Mental Health.

However, in my opinion there is a dire need for a comprehensive daily program where those individuals with chronic severe mental illnesses can learn to work and socialize within a caring therapeutic community. They will eventually have access to trial employment with businesses that support Connections Place and ultimately be able to secure permanent gainful employment. There will also be supported educational opportunities and eventually housing availability with ongoing support.

There are literally hundreds of mentally ill young adults 18-30 years old currently living unfulfilling lives in the homes of their parents or in substandard basement 

suites. These lost souls will have a much better chance of living satisfying and happy lives if a Clubhouse International program is available in the Victoria area.

Sincerely yours,

 

Dr. D. C. Stovel

Dear Dr. Rudnick:

This committee was presented with an overview of the Accredited Clubhouse model of psychosocial rehabilitation on May 30, 2014.  As a committee we recommend that Island Health initiate the start-up of an accredited clubhouse international model of evidence based psychosocial rehabilitation as soon as possible.  We came to this conclusion based on the following:

  1. The summer edition of PULSE - Community News and Information from the Victoria Foundation (2014) states in 2013, mental health rose from the 10th most important issue, as ranked by Vital Signs survey respondents, to the 2nd most important issue.
  2. Mental illness is the third largest contributor of BC's burden of disease and the greatest contributor for people aged 15-34.  This is a critical age group - young adults starting their lives.
  3. We are aware that Vancouver Coastal Health partially funds a clubhouse in Richmond, BC and believe the same financial arrangement should be made in Victoria.
  4. The Clubhouse Model is now included on the US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA) National Registry of Evidence Based Practices and Programs (NREOO) in 2008.
  5. Healthy Minds, Healthy People (HMHP) states that mental illness costs the BC economy $6.6 billion each year.  Evidence-based practices will reduce this figure.
  6. Healthy Minds, Healthy People's goals include:
    • A focus on evidence-based practice using a collaborative approach.
    • To reduce the economic costs resulting from mental health problems.
    • The promotion of individual's strengths and capacities, improve his/her ability to cope with adversity, and create supportive community environments.
    • Tackling stigma and discrimination is an essential step in crating a system that is inclusive, accessible and sustainable.  The need to change the language of mental illness and to focus on the concept of recovery rather than on the illness and its severity is emphasized.
    • Enhance the availability of evidence-based therapy - there is a substantial body of research literature on evidence-based therapies...
    • ACTION - Implement integrated evidence-based primary and community care practices for people with severe and complex mental disorders and/or substance dependence.
    • ACTION - Implement evidence-based rehabilitation services including employment, education, leisure and wellness.
  7. Island Health's Operating Themes and Priorities 2012-2014 includes in three focus area and priorities (include) #3:  Island Health wants programs and services and our individual health care providers to follow best practices and the latest standards and approaches.

In summary Clubhouse International is an accredited evidence-based program that offers a full range of evidence based services to allow choices for individuals in recovery.  We believe it is essential to introduce best practices and evidence based programs - it is recommended in the Healthy Minds, Healthy people document and will also be recommended in the PSR Framework that is in its final stages.

The clubhouse model includes housing support and outreach to educational institutions and hospitals, therefore simplifying the fragmented or difficult to navigate mental health system.

Community building, along with developing relationships is the foundation to recovery.  People in Victoria with a mental illness are sick 365 days a year - not just Monday to Friday 9-5.  An accredited clubhouse is open every day of the year - including statutory holidays.

As taxpayers, this committee achnowledges a clubhouse is extremely cost effective.  Richmond Pathways Clubhouse has a recent audit that showed every $1 invested $14 was returned in societal value (SROI).  Savings can be redirected to psychiatric emergency services.

There are many facilities in the region that could be converted into a clubhouse without a large outlay of capital.  part of BC Housing's mandate is mental health and they can be contacted regarding space for a clubhouse.  A school no longer in use is another option.  Therefore it is a possibility that an existing building could be repurposed for a clubhouse at little cost.

This program has a long history of success - developed in the late 1940's.  We, the committee are in support of Island Health pursuing this project

Yours truley,

Mental Health and Addictions Advisory Chair on behalf of Committee Members

To whom it may concern:

Re: Accredited Clubhouse International Proposal for Victoria.

As a practicing Family Physician and as a realative of persons experiencing Mental Health disease, I am fully supportive of the Clubhouse proposal.

Too often those with metal illness are left in a precarious gap between Hospital and home life.  The Clubhouse project will bridge that gap, provide a safe and constructive environment and help guide those refered to the Clubhouse into becoming active and healthy participants in our society.

Every effort at both Government and community levels must be undertaken to support this project.

Sincerely,

Dr. James D. Stockdill BA MD FCFP.,
Clinical Associate Professor, Faculty of Medicine, UBC.

To Whom It May Concern,

As a practicing family physician, I regularly encounter patients, or family members of patients with a severe and persistent mental illness.  i witness that the gap between hospital and home life can be a very large one, particularly if family support is not available.

Clubhouse International will give people with serious and persistent mental illness meaning and purpose in their lives.  Isolation and lonliness are by-products of mental illness.  Years that other have used to get an education, begin a career, and start a family have sometimes been spent in and out of hospitals.  Experiences that are parts of ordinary lives in a society are often foreclosed by mental illness.

I support a Clubhouse International being established here soon to complement existing services.  A clubhouse International will assist me as a physician, as my patients with mental health challenges often need more than just my clinical services.  Our vulnerable citizens deserve this chance to regain thier health, well-being and become contributing citizens in our community.  For further information, please view www.iccd.org.

Sincerely,

Dr. William N. Shoichet
WNS/per nlk

To whom it may concern:

Re: Accredited Clubhouse International Proposal for Victoria

I am writing in support of the Clubhouse proposal.  I am a family physician in Victoria and have 30 years of experience dealing with mental helath patients.  I have seen so many people fall in the gap between hospital and home support services.  our local area greatly needs the innovative supportive clubhouse programs provided by Clubhouse International.  Families and healthcare providers need to know that this is an effective service in the community to bridge the gap.

Sincerely,

Dr. John S. Jollymore BSc MD

To Whom It May Concern:

Re: Accredited Clubhouse International Proposal for Victoria

As a practicing family physician I regularly encounter patients, or family of patients with a severe and persistent mental illness.  I witness that the gap between hopital and home life can be a very large one, particularly if family support is not available.

Clubhouse International will give people with serious and persistent mental illness meaning and purpose to their lives.  Isolation and loneliness are by-products of mental illness.  Years that others have used to get an education, begin a career, and start a family have sometimes been spent in and out of hopitals.  Experiences that are parts of ordinary lives in a society are often foreclosed by mental illness.

I support a Clubhouse International being established here soon to compliment existing services.  A clubhouse International will assist me as a physician, as my patients, with mental health challenges, often need more than just clinical Services.  Our vulnerable citizens deserve this chance to regain their health, well-being and become contributing citizens in our community.  For further information please views www.iccd.org

Yours truly,

C.M. James, M.B., ChB
Associated Physicians

To whom it may concern,

Re: Moms Like us Clubhouse Initiative

I am pleased to write a letter of support for the Moms Like Us initiative to establish an accredited Clubhouse in the Victoria region.  this Clubhouse will be an important addition to the community services required by people living with serious mental illness.

The Clubhouse movement began with Fountain House which opened in New York City in the 1940s.  Fountain House began as a drop in and social centre for people with serious mental illness.  Through peer support and participation in operating the Clubhouse, members become engaged in the activities and life of the Clubhouse and often transition into vocational services provided within the Clubhouse and the community.  The success of Fountain House has led to Clubhouses being opened throughout the world and there are currently over 400 in operation.

Clubhouses are now accredited by Clubhouse International to assue the quality of services.

From a member and family perspective, Clubhouses have great value in providing peer support and positive, accepting and supportive environment as well as opportunities for employment.  Impoartantly, Clubhouse members have the peronal and social supports which facilitate recovery and reduce psychiatric emergency hospitalization.

In addition to their potential for reducing the personal and social costs of serious mental illness, Clubhouses have the potential to significantly avoid the police, hospital and social service costs associated with serious mental illness.

In British Columbia there are several Clubhouses operating which are providing these key, community mental health services within their regions.  The current absence of an accredited Clubhouse in the Victoria region is a significant gap in community services and lost opportunity not only to support persons living with serious mental illness and their families but also for system cost avoidance.

To qualify myself, I have worked in the mental health field for over thirty years at all levels of the system including a Vice President, Vancouver-Richmond Health Board, responsibility for all of the community and acute care mental health sercises in Greater Vancouver.  I have also served as an Accreditation Canada surveyor for over 15 years, am a Co-Chair, Canadian Alliance of Mental Illness and Mental health, Canada's major mental health organization and am the incoming Senior Editor for the Canadian Journal of Community Mental Health.  I am also a Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry, UBC.

It is my sincere hope that Island Health Authority will carefully consider the request form Moms Like Us to establish a Clubhouse in Victoria and provide the necessary resources to make this happen.  This Clubhouse will be a valuable addition to the region's services for persons living with serious mental illness and their families as well as for Island Health Authority itself.

Thank you for your consideration.

Yours sincerely,

John A Higenbottam, Ph.D., R Psych

Re: Accredited Clubhouse International Proposal for Victoria

I wish to add my support without reservation for this propoal.  While I was in practice in Sechelt I saw the benefits to the mental health community because of the establishment there of the Arrowhead Clubhouse.  It had a dramatic positive impact on many of my patients and assisted in my support of these patients.

Ronald H. Estey, MD

Letters From Law Enforcement

Ms. Jackie,

I would like to acknowledge and thank you for your efforts to support those suffering with mental health issues.  I can tell you that RCMP members and elected officials right across the island raise the issue of mental health with me on a regular basis.

Although RCMP members are primarily thought of as "law enforcement officers", I can tell you that we spend a great deal of time dealing with those who are distressed and in the midst of a mental health crisis.  In fact, just last night, RCMP members on the island responded to multiple calls of suicidal individuals.  Fortunately, our members were able to effectively and safely apprehend those individuals and get them to a health care provider.  However, this is less than ideal and rarely seems to result in a long term positive result for those individuals or their families.

I was pleased to learn about your Clubhouse Model and the many success stories you provided from other areas which have already implemented this model.

I wish you all the best in your drive to open a Clubhouse here on Vancouver Island.  There are so many individuals who could benefit from a stable, predictable, respectful, and supportive environment.

Sincerely,

C/Supt. Ray Bernoties

Dear Jackie:

RE: Clubhouse International - Victoria, BC

On behalf of the Capital Regions's Municipal Police Chiefs and Detachment Commanders, I would again like to thank you and your group for your presentation at the Area Chiefs on April 2, 2015.

As police leaders, we support your vision of an accredited Clubhouse International in the Greater Victoria area.  it is clear that Moms Like Us is a dedicated and passionate group of community members with an evidence-based plan to help those with mental health challenged.  As you know, police throughout Canada are experiencing increases in mental health related calls for service.  Many of these calls involve individuals who would greatly benefit from more structure and support as they reintegrate back into society following a mental health crisis.

We see the opening of an accredited Clubhouse International centre in Greater Victoria as one solution to this challenge and we wich you every success in making your vision a reality.

Sincerely,

Les Sylven
Deputy Chief Constable
Central Saanich Police Service

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Powell,

Re: CMHA Pathways Clubhouse Richmond

Thank you so much for our recent discussions regarding Pathways Clubhouse and your request for support in establishing the Clubhouse Model in Victoria.

Richmond RCMP is proud to call CMHA Pathways Clubhouse Richmond a vital community partner.  As the Mental Health Liaison for Richmond Detachment, I personally know what a tremendous service they provide for those in the Richmond Community with serious and persistent mental illness/  The Clubhouse Model, centered around the work ordered day, provides stability, skills and support.  However, the personal support, camaraderie, community, belonging and hope that Pathways also provides, is impossible to measure.

I wish you success in your quest to establish such a model in Victoria.

Sincerely,

Cst. Heather Hall
Richmond RCMP, Mental Health Liaison

On behalf of:
Supt. Rendall Nesset
Officer in Charge, Richmond RCMP Detachment

To Whom It May Concern:

RE: Clubhouse International

As the new Chief Constable for the city of Victoria I have been struck by the number of mental health interactions our officers deal with each day.  In fact, non-criminal interactions with persons who have some form of mental health issue are one of the largest drains on police resources today.  Although there are numerous agencies within our city that have some carriage of mental health issues, I know we can do more.  I firmly believe that a holistic community approach is the only way for us to deal with this impending crisis.  Individuals with mental health issues are too often not receiving the services they so critically need.

I don't believe there is a single solution to this issue.  I believe that a multi-pronged approach with all of us doing our part will not only relieve some of the strain our agencies are feeling but will also offer the appropriate care that those most in need require.  I recently had the privilege of learning about Clubhouse International.  Clubhouse International is a community based non-profit organization which offers members opportunities for friendship, employment, housing, education, and access to medical and psychiatric services through a single caring and safe environment so that members can achieve a sense of belonging and become productive members of society.

Clubhouse International is already well established in BC communities like Richmond, who have demonstrated fantastic results with their "family members" in a very cost effective model.  I firmly believe that our community would be well served by implementing our own Clubhouse International.  The services they offer are not presently being offered but would provide the skills and resources necessary for persons with mental health issues to live productive independent lives in our community.

I would be happy to speak further with you about this initiative at your convenience.

Sincerely,

Frank J. Elsner

To Whom It May concern,

Re: Establishing a Clubhouse International Model Resource in Greater Victoria

I am writing to encourage the Island Health Authority, in collaboration with community and health partners, to establish a Clubhouse International resource to support those living with mental health issues.  I have recently been made aware of the Clubhouse International Model through local community members such as Victoria City Councillor Lisa Helps and Moms Like Us representatives Jackie Powell and Beth Danskin as well as several others.

I was provided information about the program and the proactive and preventative aspects of long term impacts made possible with such a program.  As you know, mental health issues account for a high percentage of calls for service for police in Greater Victoria and throughout North America, and often those calls are simply the result of people being in crisis without adequate support.  A clubhouse has the potential to help "members" develop relationships, have a sense of purpose, develop routines (which include maintaining treatment regimens), engage in employment, and many other benefits.

I receive calls as Chief Constable of the Saanich Police from citizens who are pleading for help and feel they have no support to help them looks after friends and family who are suffering from mental health issues.  In many cases these people feel as though their loved ones are in danger of hurting themselves or others, and in other cases they simply do not have the capacity to provide the level of care and supervision deemed necessary.  The Clubhouse model can provide such support and the resources required to make a difference.

I was also advised of the success of the Richmond / CMHA initiative Pathways Clubhouse.  It seems to be a model that would serve our community well and work to close a service gap that exists in the CRD.  From a social return on investment perspective, the Richmond Clubhouse boasts a $14.00 return on every dollar invested.  So while finding in health generally, and mental health specifically, is tight, the Richmond experience would show us this is where we need to be investing health finding.

While I could go on, I will conclude by offering my unwavering support and the support of the Saanich Police for Island Health to establish a Clubhouse type of resource here in the CRD, both to reduce calls for service for police, and, more importantly, to provide the much needed level of support and care that those living with mental health issues deserve.

For more information about Clubhouse international can be found at www.iccd.org and information on the Richmond Pathways Clubhouse can be found at http://richmond.cmha.bc.ca/how-we-can-help/support-services.  Locally, I would encourage you to contact Lisa Helps (lisa@lisahelpsvictoria.ca), Jackie Powell at momslikeus2014@gmail.com or Beth Danskin at bethmomslikeus@gmail.com to assess the level of community support.

Thank you for your consideration of this request.  Please let me know if there is more information I can provide you, or if I can assist in helping you move this forward.

Sincerely,

Robert A. Downie, MA
Chief Constable

Re: Accredited Clubhouse for Victoria

To whom is may concern,

I would like to take this opportunity to indicate my support for the development of an accredited clubhouse in the Victoria area.  I had the pleasure of meeting with the Moms Like Us group where they presented on the Clubhouse International model.  This is a dedicated group with a clear vision that I think would make a difference.

I can confirm that the police are experiencing a marked increase in mental health related cases.  A situation I see all too often is a family trying to manage an adult child suffering from mental illness by themselves.  The end result is a usually a crisis where we become involved.  Many do not have this family support and hit that point of crisis quicker.  These interventions tax the resources of both the justice and health care systems, not to mention the human cost, and unfortunately these cycles repeat.

I have seen first hand the work of a clubhouse.  It provides structure and support during the initial stages of a person gaining control of their life, a very fragile period.  It provides a central point to consolidate programs and deliver care.  And very importantly, ameans to prepare the client to contribute either by entering the workforce or providing some level of service to the community.  The self esteem this instills is immeasurable.

In closing, while I realize there are some excellent initiatives already in place, I think the clubhouse model would be a real asset to the Greater Victoria area.  I would look forward to having such a structure to refer families and individuals to.

Yours truly

Andy Briton
Chief Constable

To Whom It May Concern.

The Vancouver Island Criminal Justice Association supports "Moms Like Us" in their efforts to establish a Clubhouse International facility in the Capital Region.

As was made clear at our recent public forum "Mental Healthe and Criminal Justice: Changing the Links" the current crisis facing many British Columbia municipalities trying to provide support to the mentally ill requires a multi-program response from community based support through to secure treatment beds.  Too often a police intervention leading to criminal justice response has become the fall back position where an adequate range of services and programs are not available.

The Richmond Canadian Mental Health Association Pathways Clubhouse experience provides stability, skills, and support based on work ordered day to people with serious and persistent mental illness.  it exemplifies the effective community based response advocated by "Moms Like Us" for our region.

W.F. Foster

President
Vancouver Island Criminal Justice Association

To Whom It May Concern:

RE: VicPD Support for Clubhouse International

Mental health related issues are easily one of the most significant factors affecting police resources today. There are numerous agencies within our city that assist with these circumstances in some capacity but we believe that a holistic community approach is the only way for us to deal with this impending crisis. Individuals that suffer from mental health issues are often in critical need of receiving services that they are unable to attain.

A multi‐pronged approach with all of us doing our part will not only relieve some of the strain our agencies are feeling but will also offer the appropriate care that those most in need require. Clubhouse International is a community based non‐profit organization which offers members opportunities for friendship, employment, housing, education, and access to medical and psychiatric services through a single caring and safe environment so that members can achieve a sense of belonging and become productive members of society.

Clubhouse International is already well established in BC communities like Richmond, who have demonstrated fantastic results in a very cost effective model. We believe that our community would be well served by implementing our own Clubhouse International. The services they offer are not presently being offered here in Victoria but would provide the skills and resources necessary for persons with mental health issues to live productive independent lives in our community.

Sincerely,

Del Manak
Acting Chief Constable

Letters From Education Professionals

To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing in support of establishing a Clubhouse International resource in Greater Victoria to support those 18 years and older living in the community with mental health issues.  With over 400 of these facilities worldwide (18 in Canada), these accredited, evidence-based and effective models can address the needs of those youth and adults in our community who are impacted by mental health issues.

The Clubhouse International model seeks to provide a proactive program to provide long-term support to our most vulnerable members of our society.  While assistance is provided to our developmentally disabled youth and adults as they finish in the public school system, it would be impactful to provide similar community support structures for our youth affected by mental health issues to help them with healthy living initiatives, post-secondary counseling and/or employment training.  According to the National Institute of Mental Health, mental health issues are most likely to emerge between the ages 18-24 years as youth end their education in public schools and plan to embark on post-secondary or employment endeavors.  Therefore, it would be wonderful to offer a proactive support model in the community which allows young adults to heal and have purpose in their lives as they work to get well.

According to the 2013 BC Adolescent Health Survey, 1 in 5 children and youth self-identify as having some type of mental health issue or diagnosis, and 1 in 5 adults are impacted by mental health issues at some point in their lifetime.  As youth leave our school system, we support this community-based Clubhouse International initiative that could provide a long-term mental health support system to promote wellness and healthy living for everyone.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me directly.

Sincerely,

Janine Roy, M.Ed.
District Principal of Learning Initiatives

Other Letters of Support

To Whom It May Concern:

Subject:   The Establishment of a Clubhouse International in the Greater Victoria Area - To Support Those With Mental Illness to Lead Happy and Productive Lives

The Saanich Legacy Foundation fully supports the formation of Connections Place in the Greater Victoria Area.  Connections Place will join the network of 330 Clubhouses globally that help 100,000 people each year with a mental illness.  To have this comprehensive system of community care in the GVA will guide people to social inclusion to live and thrive in society.  By doing this the demand on emergency services will be reduced.

Several members of the Saanich Legacy Foundation have visited the Pathways Clubhouse in Richmond, BC.  The restorative environment provides opportunities and purpose and meaning to lives disrupted by mental illness.  Connections Place will strive to follow the 37 International Standards compiled by Clubhouse International.  The outcome will be a place where people come to rebuild their lives, and talents and strengths are discovered and encouraged.

Pathways Clubhouse has achieved a Society Return on Investment or 14:1 and was named One of the Top Ten Impact Charities in Canada by Charity Intelligence Canada in November 2016.

The Saanich Legacy Foundation is committed to helping Connections Place become a reality and will support this cause full-heartedly until charity status is achieved.  There is nodoubt that this world-renowned program is direly needed in our community.

Yours sincerely,

Kodi Gibson, President
Saanich Legacy Foundation

May 1, 2017

Re: Establishment of Clubhouse International in Victoria, BC

The Clubhouse International Model is an evidence based, cost effective program that provides community based services for those with a mental illness. I have been employed by Pathways Clubhouse for the past 33 years and became the Executive Director in 2002. Furthermore, since 1995, I have been on the Faculty for Clubhouse Development. This experience has allowed me to witness everyday, at our Clubhouse and around the world, lives that are transformed. This is a vital service to rebuild the lives of those with mental health challenges.

Pathways Clubhouse is a member of and accredited by Clubhouse International. This model guides people to social inclusion (homes, education, employment and meaningful healthy relationships). Pathways Clubhouse was recognized by Charity Intelligence Canada as being one of the Top Ten Impact Charities in Canada in November 2016.

Pathways Clubhouse has achieved a Societal Return on Investment of 14:1. We are able to accomplish this because we follow the 37 International Standards that Clubhouse International has developed. We steer people away from emergency services and in place provide people with opportunities to live and thrive in society.

For the past three years, through Clubhouse International, I have been the mentor for the Victoria Clubhouse Start-up group. This group is committed to see Connections Place established. Dedicated parent, Jackie Powell, Chair of Connections Place Society, has attended New Development Clubhouse Training, and International and Regional Clubhouse Seminars, and has forged ahead gaining support to establish Connections Place Society.

The Greater Victoria Area will benefit greatly with the addition of Connections Place which will strive to follow the 37 International Standards. Benefits to the community will include help for families, neighbours, friends and businesses. We believe that Connections Place will have the same results in regards to a Social Return on Investment, a great cost savings to the community and exceptional results to those using the services. With Victoria struggling with homelessness for several years, having Connections Place will be an addition to the social safety net that is direly needed in our capital city.

Sincerely,

Dave MacDonald
Executive Director

May 1, 2017

To Whom It May Concern:

Subject: The Establishment of a Clubhouse International in the Greater Victoria Area - To Support Those With a Mental Illness to Lead Happy and Productive Lives

The Saanich Legacy Foundation fully supports the formation of Connections Place in the Greater Victoria Area.  Connections Place will join the netwok of 330 Clubhouses globally that help 100,000 people each year with a mental illness.  To have this comprehensive system of community care in the GVA will guide people to social inclusion to live and thrive in society.  By doing this the demand on emergency services will be reduced.

Several members of the Saanich Legacy Foundation have visited the Pathways Clubhouse in Richmond, BC.  The restorative environment provides opportunities and purpose and meaning to lives disrupted by mental illness.  Connections Place will strive to follow the 37 International Standards compiled by Clubhouse International.  The outcome will be a place where people come to rebuild their lives, and talents and strengths are discovered and encouraged.

Pathways Clubhouse has achieved a Social Return on Investment of 14:1 and was named One of the Top Ten Impact Charities in Canada by Charity Intelligence Canada in November 2016.

The Saanich Legacy Foundation is committed to helping Connections Place become a reality and will support this cause full-heartedly until charity status is achieved.  There is no doubt that this world-renowned program is direly needed in our community.

Yours sincerely,

 

Kodi Gibson, President
Saanich Legacy Foundation

May 1, 2017

Re: Establishment of Clubhouse International in Victoria, BC

The Clubhouse International Model is an evidence based, cost effective program that provides community based services for those with a mental illness. I have been employed by Pathways Clubhouse for the past 33 years and became the Executive Director in 2002. Furthermore, since 1995, I have been on the Faculty for Clubhouse Development. This experience has allowed me to witness everyday, at our Clubhouse and around the world, lives that are transformed. This is a vital service to rebuild the lives of those with mental health challenges.

Pathways Clubhouse is a member of and accredited by Clubhouse International. This model guides people to social inclusion (homes, education, employment and meaningful healthy relationships). Pathways Clubhouse was recognized by Charity Intelligence Canada as being one of the Top Ten Impact Charities in Canada in November 2016.

Pathways Clubhouse has achieved a Societal Return on Investment of 14:1. We are able to accomplish this because we follow the 37 International Standards that Clubhouse International has developed. We steer people away from emergency services and in place provide people with opportunities to live and thrive in society.

For the past three years, through Clubhouse International, I have been the mentor for the Victoria Clubhouse Start-up group. This group is committed to see Connections Place established. Dedicated parent, Jackie Powell, Chair of Connections Place Society, has attended New Development Clubhouse Training, and International and Regional Clubhouse Seminars, and has forged ahead gaining support to establish Connections Place Society.

The Greater Victoria Area will benefit greatly with the addition of Connections Place which will strive to follow the 37 International Standards. Benefits to the community will include help for families, neighbours, friends and businesses. We believe that Connections Place will have the same results in regards to a Social Return on Investment, a great cost savings to the community and exceptional results to those using the services. With Victoria struggling with homelessness for several years, having Connections Place will be an addition to the social safety net that is direly needed in our capital city.

Sincerely,

Dave MacDonald
Executive Director

Dear Ms Powell, I applaud the work that you are doing.  It is invaluable.  Please feel free to use this brief email as tangible evidence of my full support in principle.

Sincerely

Perry Kendall

P. R. W. Kendall
OBC, MBBS, MSc, FRCPC
Provincial Health Officer
Ministry of Health

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:

Re: In support of Clubhouse International for Serious and Persistent Mental Health Illness

This model of psychosocial rehabilitation (PSR) will be a welcome additional support to our community of people with persistent and serious mental health challenges.  When people leave the hospital, without family support this can create a gap of service.  Individuals are at great risk for homelessness and recidivism.

Clubhouse International is included in SAMHSA's National Registry of Evidence-Based Best Practices (SAMHSA: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration).  Clubhouse is effective in helping people with mental illness regain their self-confidence and footing in the world and move on with their education or employment.  A signifcant amount of research supports that members have good employment outcomes, reduced incarcerations and hospitalizations.

The clubhouse outreach program would touch many lives.  To have clubhouse members visit the hospital and reach out to those who in a very painful place would give so much hope back into a person's life.  I would be a lifeline and a bridge to recovery.  If a member is expected at the Clubhouse and doesn't show up they receive a phone call or visit.  There is always follow-up to let the member know he or she is missed.

It can be challenging and frustrating for people struggling with their mental health to understand and navigate the various programs and resources available in the community.  Clubhouse International will connect people to community services that best suit their needs.

The work ordered day provides stability, support, camaraderie, community and belonging.  Further information can be found at www.iccd.org

Yours truly,

Don Evans
Executive Director

To whom it may concern:

Re: Mom's Like Us Clubhouse Initiative

I am an Investment Advisor With Raymond James.  I am also the current Chair of the board of Directors of the Victoria Cool Aid Society.

It is without hesitation that I write this letter of recommendation in support of the application for an accredited Clubhouse in the Victoria region.  The Clubhouse ititiative will help provide an important addition to the current services required in our region to help the adult population dealing with serious mental illness.

One of the largest issues in the Victoria area these days is lack of affordable housing, homelessness and mental illness, issues that are all interconnected.  We have many great service providers trying to provide support to this populating, but to add the services offered from an accredited Clubhouse here in our community would certainly go a long way to help with this growing issue.

I have come to know about Moms Like Us through a friend whose own situation has led her to join and seek help from Mom's Like Us, she has been advocating for a Clubhouse in our community because she has run out of options to help support adult child struggling with mental issues.  Without thlove and support she provides her son, I expect that he would be on the streets today in a much worse situation than what he currently faces.  A clubhouse will help provide a safe environment to help her son achieve success in properly dealing with his mental health issues, help with employment, education and providing a solid foundation to offer future success in contributing and enjoying the community we all live in.

This program will certainly offer a community to young adults suffering from mental health issues and in turn keep them from ending up on the streets without any support at all.  The research provided from Clubhouse International suggests that this model is well worth having in our community.

Kind Regards,

Bradley Clark