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I recently returned home from an International Clubhouse Conference held in Denver, Colorado. It was a bittersweet experience being with 600 people from all over the world: China, Nepal, Gibraltar, Australia, Japan, Finland, Norway, Denmark, England, Germany, US and Canada (to name just a few) for five days was amazing! What stood out the most was all 600 people (members and staff) were passionate about getting people back into life. The energy at the conference was over the top – the desire to get people healthy and into recovery was the number one collective goal.
Workshops covered board membership, technology, employment, clubhouse supported education, standards, culinary units, fundraising, clubhouse research outcomes, clubhouse space, clubhouse start-ups, staffing, training and much more. It was impossible to take it all in. However, CI has a new app and that will help fill in what was missed.
The bitter part is that we do not have this successful, cost effective form of rehabilitation in the Greater Victoria Area. Our group of volunteers (Moms Like Us) is relentlessly pursuing this goal, working with stakeholders in the community to bring them together and on the same page. We know this is the right thing to do. We know this model of rehabilitation saves lives. We know that a Clubhouse International does an amazing job engaging people back into the community in a positive and holistic manner, away from expensive emergency services. It finds people homes, jobs, friends, community and hope.
The Globe and Mail is reporting daily on the tragedy of the suicides that have taken place recently within the armed forces. November 4/15, Guy Parent, who is the Veterans Ombudsman states, “One suicide is too many and it’s everybody’s responsibility. Veterans need hope. To have hope, you need forward movement. To have forward movement, you need better options ahead of you than behind you.” This is so true and I commend Mr. Parent for making this statement. People must have hope and options – this is a basic human need – for young and old regardless of whom you are.
So, I urge you to please join us and make noise, get loud and join us in calling, phoning, writing, emailing, writing letters to the editor, Island Health, your MP, MLA, local mayor, councilors – wherever you live in the GVA – we need your support. Through our collective voice we will make change and bring a Clubhouse International to help so many, from all walks of life, to the Greater Victoria Area.
One last thing – please share this email with friends and family and pass the word that Clubhouse International saves lives!
Many thanks, Jackie