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My Clubhouse Journey

My journey into Clubhouse started around 2004.  One of the original purposes of starting a Clubhouse
 was to end the “revolving door” syndrome of people going in and out of hospital.

During my time
 with Clubhouse it has helped me with a number of things, including self-esteem. I am now able to
 negotiate with landlords, sign leases by myself, and I have gained valuable friendships within the
 Clubhouse. More importantly it is now nearly fourteen months since my last admission into hospital.

Clubhouse membership has many advantages. It is a place where we are treated with respect and
 dignity. It is a place where, for 365 days a year, one can escape to and learn new things every day 
and meet new people every day without any judgement on diagnoses or situational circumstances.

The structure of the Clubhouse allows one to gain confidence and valuable skills that are 
transferable to the work place. When I first joined Clubhouse I stayed for a while then moved home
 to work in the mental health sector. Life then took a turn for me and I returned to my Clubhouse
 community. One of the most important rights that we have as members, is a place to return to.
   Personally, Clubhouse has been a truly life changing experience and still is. I now realize even if I am
 many miles away I still am considered a member of Clubhouse. I can always contact a person just to 
chat with. For me that has gone a long way to alleviating loneliness and the stigma of having a
 mental illness. It has been an amazing journey, it is now 2012 and I am still here.

David

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