2018 Year in Review

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

Executive Director

Unlimited Solutions Clubhouse Chosen as Non Profit Partner for BRLI

“BANGOR REGION LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE ANNOUNCES CLASS OF 2017 AND NONPROFIT PARTNER

BANGOR – The Bangor Region Leadership Institute (BRLI), an intensive, regionally-oriented leadership development program, is pleased to announce the members of the Class of 2017.

This year’s participants will be Michelle Beal, Beal College; Jeremy Clay, City of Bangor Community Connector; Michael Cormier, UBS Financial; Brian Cotlar, Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce; Tom Dorrity, TD Bank; Karen-Ann Ellis, Maine Savings Federal Credit Union; Jenny Gage, Wings for Children and Family; Scott Harvey, Katahdin Area Boy Scouts; Kristen Hickmon, Lowe’s Home Improvement; Alaina Jacobs, Downeast Toyota; Ami Johnson, EMHS; Thomas Lasko, Jr., Emera Maine; Veronica Levesque, Maine Savings Federal Credit Union; Rebecca Liberty, Redeemer Lutheran Church; Amanda Martin, Somic America; Paula Matlins, Maine Career Connect; Megan Muth, Blue Hill Memorial Hospital; Kathryn Ravenscraft; United Way of Eastern Maine; Gretchen Schaefer, Husson University; Melissa Scott, EMHS; Melissa Smith, Happy Endings Martini & Dessert Bar; Kimberly Stewart, Bangor Savings Bank; Josh Whalen, Epstein Properties; Paige Wilcox, Wilcox Wellness; Emily Woodbury, Changing Seasons FCU; and Brianna Woodworth, EMMC.

BRLI is held every fall through spring in nine separate, day-long sessions, each of which takes place at a different location in the Bangor region based on the day’s theme. The curriculum includes a dynamic array of presenters chosen based on expertise, leadership capacity, community commitment, and communication skills. BRLI is designed to give potential and emerging leaders the skills, knowledge and on-going support they need to succeed in the greater Bangor community.

Each class also works closely with a local nonprofit to further develop the leadership skills fundamental to the BRLI experience. The nonprofit selected for this year’s partnership with the class is Unlimited Solutions Clubhouse, an affiliate of Penobscot Community Health Care.  The mission of Unlimited Solutions Clubhouse is to “improve the health and well being of people with mental illness in the Bangor community by creating opportunities around wellness, education, and employment.”

Thursday, October 6th marks the first class day with the Annual Alumni Breakfast kicking off the year on Friday October 7th at Hollywood Casino. This is a great opportunity for alumni to catch up, meet the incoming class, and give them a warm welcome into the program. The keynote address will be given by General Doug Farnham, Adjutant General, Maine National Guard.  Those interested in attending should visit brliexperience.org for tickets.

BRLI is a program of the Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce. For more information, please contact the Chamber at 207-947-0307.”- Copied with permission from BRLI Blog