January 1, 2019-
On the first day of the new year, I like to look back and reflect on the progress and the lessons learned over the past year. I do this personally and for the Clubhouse as well. This post is going to be a bit longer than our usual posts. 2018 was a year of change and more importantly growth at Unlimited Solutions. For some of us change is difficult and we have worked through the changes and for others of us, change comes with excitement at the possibilities that are about to come.
We saw people leave the Clubhouse community this year, some because they have pursued their dreams and we wish them the best of luck in their journeys and others have passed too soon and we will miss their smiles but remember lessons they bring to us each day.
We have seen change at the Clubhouse:
*We finished the InSHAPE Study through Dartmouth Hitchcock and some of our members had great personal gains in weight loss and health. We made the decision to incorporate the things we learned through this study into our work ordered day and the wellness programming back into unit work, instead of having a staff dedicated to personal training. All of our staff have been able to learn and can help members through their wellness journeys. Classes are held each day and members can go to staff or other members for support with their wellness questions and goals.
*For the first time, we saw staff pursue their own dreams and goals that took them away from working daily at our Clubhouse. Luckily, we have been able to keep in contact with Casey, Angela and Dani and our circle grows by adding Jesse, Chris, Theresa and Alyssa to our team. Jesse, Chris, Theresa and Alyssa bring different talents and skills to our Clubhouse. We have been able to take the lessons that Dani, Angela and Casey taught us and now started to expand by learning new things from our new colleagues.
*We attended training at a different training base in South Carolina, Gateway Clubhouse. At Gateway, we focused on developing a strong work ordered day and brought back creative ideas such as incorporating new media projects into the work ordered day and re-designing our newsletter to reach the community.
*Our employment partners continue to grow as we added Bangor Savings Bank, HW Staffing and Chick-fil-a to our already existing list of rock star partners. Without the businesses in the community that we partner with to provide employment opportunities through our transitional and supportive employment programs, we would not be nearly as successful as we are. Currently 62 of our 219 members are competitively employed in the community. This is 28% of our membership as compared with only 7.4% of the population in Maine with Severe Mental Illness (according to Kaiser Health News).
So, we have seen change at the Clubhouse this year. We have grown! Change and growth take us out of our comfort zone sometimes. Luckily, we have the support of all our colleagues as we “adjust our sails” and grow some more. As we have been told many times, “The magic happens outside of our comfort zone.”
Benjamin Franklin once said “Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.” So, thank you for all your hard work, effort and growth this year. Here is to making 2019 our best year yet at the Clubhouse.
-Carrie Lyn Lemos, OTR/L, CEAS