Member Profile – Chris
Stories of recovery and growth of Clubhouse members are always inspiring. For Chris, the Clubhouse was an important stepping stone on his road to recovery.
Chris graduated from Miami University of Ohio with a degree in Finance. Following his graduation, he joined the U.S. Army and he was stationed in California as a Korean language translator. It was during this time that his symptoms of mental illness became prevalent. Chris was diagnosed with schizophrenia and he was hospitalized for a short period.
Things began to turn around for Chris when he was put on a more effective medication, easing his symptoms. He began to attend the Clubhouse in early 2008 and started assisting with food preparation in the kitchen. Later, he transitioned to working at the Clubhouse front desk which helped him prepare for a Transitional Employment position as a receptionist at the Cuyahoga County Community Mental Health Board. Eventually, Chris accepted a full-time position with the Board. He was recently married, as well.
Chris feels he has reaped many benefits from Magnolia Clubhouse. “My paranoia has greatly decreased, and I get a sense of accomplishment,” says Chris. “The Clubhouse is a wonderful place. We should all feel fortunate that we have such a great resource. Everyone at the Clubhouse is recovering from mental illness and we all deserve to feel better.”
Member Profile- Donnamarie
I came to Magnolia Clubhouse in April, 2007, after being released from a hospital where I had heard a presentation by the Clubhouse. Having exhausted my options for recovery, I wanted to give this a try. I was not sure what I would find, having a hard time believing the sincerity and niceness of the members speaking about the Clubhouse. But I knew I needed help.
Slightly overwhelmed at first, I found many purposeful things to do. Having a wonderful sense of belonging, I desired to do more. Gradually increasing my days and hours at the Clubhouse, I was soon attending five days a week, six to seven hours a day. With things to look forward to and my days active, I began to feel better. The more I did, the more I wanted to do.
I once thought I would never be able to work again, but to my surprise, I wanted to try. I announced “I want to try a T.E.” . I couldn’t believe I said that, but I meant it. I began working at Hickman and Lowder, a law firm that has been an employment partner with the Clubhouse for many years. It was a match made in heaven. I wasn’t treated differently, and felt very comfortable. When I did need to return to the hospital for a brief period, I didn’t miss a beat. I went right back to work three days a week, three hours a day.
Meanwhile I was still busy with the Clubhouse; I spoke at an ICCD International Seminar. I also worked on the planning for Mid-States conference and spoke at the Plenary about my Transitional Employment experience.
Having completed my placement with Hickman and Lowder, I was ready to return to the workforce. I began a serious job search just as we entered into the worst economic downturn in recent memory. Yet, I did not let that stop me. I created several resumes and turned my job search into a job. Monday thru Friday I was at the Clubhouse posting five to twenty resumes a day. I did this for over a year. I just knew if I kept trying something would come of my efforts. And it did: last February I interviewed for a part time position at Bank of America. My first day on the job was March 29th. I began working 24 hours a week, as a customer service experience.
I have completed my first year, have had several raises, and currently work up to 39 hours a week, with benefits. This month ( April), I was just promoted to Telephone Sales Associate ll, and recognized for top performance in hours every month for the 1st quarter. Quite content with how things are now, I don’t know where I’d be without the support of the Magnolia Clubhouse community.
Member Profile – Blair
Blair was first introduced to Magnolia Clubhouse in March of 2009 and has been attending ever since. He is impressed with the organization of the operation and says members and staff are friendly and open with him.
Blair works on the Communication unit where he writes articles for the Magnolia Times, works in the Video Lab and also places reach out calls to other members.
Blair’s recommendation for the Clubhouse is that it hire more staff. His favorite thing is working with members on daily tasks.
He has two sets of goals. He wants to secure full-time employment and also make a friend or two. He also wants to master the Clubhouse standards.
Since joining the Clubhouse, he is less fearful of his disability and more willing to challenge himself. The most important aim in his life is achieving a higher level of functionality. Members have taught him to work together to achieve the Clubhouse’s daily goals.
Blair has an extensive work history. He worked for 14 years in security with Higbee’s. He worked again in security, this time with Premier Industrial for 5 years. His last job was in a Transitional Employment position with T.J.Maxx.
Blair sad he would recommend the Clubhouse to other consumers because it is an excellent program and has improved his standard of life. “Fantastic,” is how he described his overall experience.
Member Profile- Darren
Darren was referred by his counselor to the Clubhouse in 1994 and was impressed by the way members and staff worked together to run it.
Darren currently works on the Hospitality Unit where he performs several tasks, including running the cash register and the front desk, preparing food and pouring coffee for members and staff.
He thinks members should be paid for the work they do at the Clubhouse. He enjoys the friendship of other members and enjoys socializing.
Darren wants to get a job and steady work. In addition, he wants to move out and rent an apartment of his own. And lastly, he also hopes to get a driver’s license.
He has become more confident and higher functioning since attending the Clubhouse. The most important part of his life is his family and friends. The best advice he has been given is to not let people down and to do the work that needs to be done here at the Clubhouse.
Darren has an extensive work history. He worked on the assembly line at Mr. Coffee for three years. He also did assembly work in a workshop for five years. And lastly, he worked as a custodian at VGS for 18 months.
Darren would recommend Magnolia Clubhouse to others because it is a place to grow and mature. In addition, he also said that since attending MCH, his mental illness has improved.
He feels the Clubhouse is a nice environment because members and staff help members overcome their problems.