Clubhouse Program Offers Skills, Camaraderie, Hope | News, sports, jobs

Wasatch House, an accredited clubhouse program in Provo, helps people with severe mental illness gain education, develop professional skills, and be part of a community. (Courtesy photo)

Wasatch House’s goals are simple. The Provo organization helps people recover from the effects of mental illness, lead personally satisfactory lives and feel like members of a community. Wasatch Behavioral Health’s annual Wasatch Wellness Run was held this month to raise funds for the program.

“Traditionally, we used this money to pay people who didn’t have funding, so anyone who wanted treatment at Wasatch House but couldn’t afford it could get paid.” said Kathy Barrett, director of Wasatch House. “In addition, some of this money is used for activities that our people would otherwise never be able to afford.”

Barrett said about 200 people signed up for the run, but due to poor air quality, some decided to skip the run but donate the money anyway. “We still had the park full of people. In addition to this run, we organize a family fair with various activities every year. “ She said.

As a clubhouse program, Wasatch House is a conscious community that helps people with severe and persistent mental illness become part of society and lead full lives. People suffering from major depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, autism, and more can have a place they belong – a place where they have people who care for them, where they can complete their education, like that Barrett.

“Mental illnesses often start at a young age – between eighteen and twenty-five and affect their education, their lives and their dreams beforehand. She said.

But those dreams can be rekindled at Wasatch House, where members can continue their education and be trained for employment. “People often think that people with severe mental illness cannot work. The truth is, when you work your symptoms get better, you have a sense of identity, you don’t hear the voices. “ said Barrett.

Members and staff work side by side in four different units at Wasatch House. In the kitchen, they work on cooking skills, get their food handler permits, and work in a professional kitchen planning, ordering, serving, and tidying up menus. “They make lunch for about 60 people a day with multiple menu options.” said Barrett.

Further units are the career unit, the business unit and the WAG (Wellness, Apparel, Grounds). In all units, members learn essential professional skills and build relationships with other members and employees. Members often work there until they find a job in the ward or show interest in outside employment.

“It’s not like the old days when people were put into group therapy or individual therapy. There is evidence that when we work side by side with people, they actually internalize these skills and are able to apply them to their lives. “ said Barrett. “In traditional psychiatric care, the boundaries are very narrow. I wouldn’t sit down with the people I am treating to talk about my family. But that’s exactly what we do in a clubhouse. By modeling appropriate behavior, they get better, they stay out of the hospital, they get jobs. “

Last month Wasatch House cared for 141 different people. Usually there are around 44-50 people there every day. “Once a member, always a member” said Barrett. “We do weekend activities with them, a social activity on Tuesday evenings, and we’re open on every major public holiday. We are their community. “


Join the thousands who are already receiving our daily newsletter.

Comments are closed.