With hope, anything is possible.

Arrowhead Clubhouse, one of 35 programs operated by Sunshine Coast Community Services Society, offers members living with mental illness a safe space five days a week where they can find companionship, learn new skills, wash clothes, eat a healthy lunch for a dollar and receive donated items like clothing, toothpaste and household items.  

There has been one pressing area for many years where clubhouse members have needed additional support: affordable housing. According to Foye Hatton, Project Lead at Arrowhead, approximately 20% of Arrowhead Clubhouse members are currently homeless. They live in tents, cars, RVs, boats, lean-tos and on the beach or in the woods. The living situations are unstable, potentially dangerous and without heat. 

But that is about to change. 

In May 2019, Raincity and BC Housing’s Rapid Response to Homelessness (RRH) program will be opening a new supportive housing development at 5656 Hightide Avenue in Sechelt.

The 40-unit building is operated by Raincity Housing and staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Each single-occupancy unit is a self-contained living space with approximately 210 square feet and includes a private bathroom with toilet, shower and sink as well as a kitchenette. In addition, there is a laundry facility and a daily meal provided to the 40 tenants at no additional charge. 

Hatton says, “Many of our clubhouse members were skeptical about applying for a unit. Many felt they didn’t have a chance.” Staff helped members fill out the applications, wrote supporting letters outlining vulnerability and need, and offered encouragement to those who applied to be one of the 40 in the new supported housing units.

“And now, I take great pride in the fact that 26 of the 28 members who applied for the supported housing were accepted,” Hatton said. “And the hope of many of those who secured a unit is that they can now focus on finding stable employment.”

One member, Jonathan, who was selected as one of the 40 tenants, says of his soon-to-be residence, “The building is beautiful, it’s secure and I feel safe. To live in Sechelt is a privilege. I am going to work on getting a job next and then my own house.”  

“Change happens slowly at Arrowhead. People and their situations rarely change dramatically overnight. It’s when you look back on the last year, or two, that you realize how much people’s mental health has improved or, unfortunately on occasion, regressed”, explains Hatton. “Of the many changes I have seen over the past two years working at Arrowhead, the RainCity supported housing project is definitely one where it will help create dramatic change in a very short period of time. More than ever I realize that stable housing is a core building block of good mental health and this project is one of the times that people’s lives will be changed and improved overnight”. 

Another newly housed clubhouse member, George, said “I’m so excited. I had a really hard winter in the cold with no heating. It’s going to be so nice to have a warm little apartment. I’m finally inside.”

With 26 members safely housed, Arrowhead can continue to support its members in other essential ways. In 2017, with support from the Vancouver Foundation, Sunshine Coast Community Services and Arrowhead developed and implemented the SEED (Skills Enhancement for Employment and Development) project with the goal of creating positive work opportunities, to shift negative perceptions and increase the employability skills of adults living with mental illness.

In addition to SEED, clubhouse members have been given the opportunity to meet with an employment specialist on a weekly basis to work on their resumes or receive advice on interviews. To further job skills, the clubhouse provides free First Aid and Food Safe courses for the members.

In 2018, and with a gracious grant from Sunshine Coast Credit Union, Arrowhead Clubhouse launched the Employment Essentials Fund. This fund helps members of the Clubhouse, who have secured employment in our community, to purchase necessary items or tools for their job. 

Change may happen slowly at Arrowhead, but the biggest change is the feeling of hope that permeates the clubhouse walls. And with hope, anything is possible.

Sunshine Coast Community Services and Arrowhead Clubhouse wish to thank RainCity and their dedicated staff for the amazing work they have done to see this project through to the completion. 

 

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Let’s Talk

It’s a fact: One in five Canadians will suffer from mental illness at some point in their lifetime. One of the biggest hurdles for anyone suffering from mental illness is overcoming the stigma. It is the number one reason why two-thirds of those living with a mental illness do not seek help.

So, it’s time to break the silence. Arrowhead Clubhouse is proud to present our first creative writing publication – ‘Poems from the Arrowhead Clubhouse’.

Publication LINK

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The publication was produced by a group of clubhouse members who gathered every other Friday to explore creative writing ideas, styles and thoughts around a theme. The group was facilitated by the wonderful Jeanne Sommerfield – thank you Jeanne. Members wrote together, but also on their own. “The patina of our creativity, humour, and honesty shades the pages where we laid down the power of our words for our own viewing, which we now share with you in this publication.” We would also like thank the marvelous Jane Covernton for helping us to create such a beautiful publication.

We time the launch to coincide with the Bell 2019 Let’s Talk Day (Jan 30th 2019).

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Dedicated to moving mental health forward in Canada, Bell Let’s Talk promotes awareness and action with a strategy built on 4 key pillars: Fighting the stigma, improving access to care, supporting world-class research and leading by example in workplace mental health.

The Let's Talk Community Fund is focused on improving access to supports and services for people living with mental illness through local projects and grassroots organizations in communities all around Canada. SMALL ACTIONS - BIG IMPACT. On Let’s Talk Day, Bell will donate more towards mental health initiatives in Canada by contributing 5¢ for every applicable text, call, tweet, social media video view and use of our Facebook frame or Snapchat filter.

Find out more - https://letstalk.bell.ca/en/

If you would like to talk further about mental health, either in regard to yourself or a friend, please feel free to contact the Clubhouse (604-747-4734 fhatton@sccss.ca) and we can discuss, tell you about our clubhouse and point you to further resources. 

We hope you enjoy our first creative writing publication,

Staff and Members of Arrowhead Clubhouse.

Introducing the Employment Essentials Fund

It all started with one member’s need for a saw.

In late 2017, a member of Arrowhead Clubhouse approached the staff, volunteers and other members with a challenge he was facing. The member had secured a position as an assistant to a carpenter but needed a saw to fulfill his job requirements.

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Arrowhead Clubhouse, an inclusive community of hope where individuals find encouragement, opportunities and, most importantly, a sense of ownership and belonging, embraced the interesting issue raised by the need for a saw.

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The clubhouse members and staff have been striving to create positive work opportunities here on the Sunshine Coast as such opportunities do several important things; provide members with a sustainable income, increase employment skills, support recovery and shift negative perceptions about mental illness within society.

Last year, as part of this effort to enhance and support employment opportunities on the Coast, a pilot project was launched in partnership with the Vancouver Foundation. SEED (Skills Enhancement for Employment and Development) is an eight-week employment readiness course designed to support members of the clubhouse to improve their skills and gain the confidence needed to enter, or re-enter, the world of work.

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These past few months clubhouse members have also had the chance to meet with an employment specialist on a weekly basis to work on their resumes or receive advice on interviews. Additionally the clubhouse has been providing free First Aid and Food Safe courses for the members, courses essential for certain career choices.

When the issue of the saw was presented, clubhouse members, staff and volunteers realized there was still an essential piece missing in Arrowhead’s ability to support employment seeking members.

At the end of October 2018, and with a gracious grant from Sunshine Coast Credit Union, Arrowhead Clubhouse launched the Employment Essentials Fund. This fund helps members of the Clubhouse, who have secured employment in our community, purchase necessary items or tools for their job.

As of December 1, 2018, ten members have used the fund to purchase work boots (8) and glasses (2) for a total of $866.

Thank you Sunshine Coast Credit Union for helping to create this opportunity for the clubhouse members and for adding an important piece to our essential, and increasing, employment supports.

If you are a local employer looking for hardworking, committed and enthusiastic employees, please contact Foye Hatton at Arrowhead Clubhouse at fhatton@sccss.ca

Arrowhead Christmas Appeal

December 04, 2018

 

Dear Friends and Neighbours of the Sunshine Coast,

 

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Christmas is coming! Arrowhead Clubhouse will be celebrating Christmas Day for the second year in a row. Last year we opened for Christmas Day for the first time, and over 40 people came. The need for the members of our community to have somewhere to go on Christmas Day was proved necessary, and important. The gifts we received from both local businesses, and individual donors, were plentiful and appreciated. Thank you to everyone who made 2017 Christmas Day happen last year.

 

This year we are opening the doors of Arrowhead Clubhouse on Christmas Day again. We are hoping that the community will once again reach out, and generously help us gather gifts for everyone. Giving within our own community is very special, and the gifts are so wonderful. Our members are a very close-knit group of people who Love each other like Family. We are Creative, Talented, Smart, Loving, and Compassionate. We try to take care of each other, and that is the purpose of Arrowhead Clubhouse, so people with similar experiences can Peer Support, and Help each other through Empathy and Understanding. We are almost all low income, and feeding each other during the week is a major part of what we do. But we also do other things like Building a Shed this year, managing a Garden, Fundraising for Ourselves, Hospital visits, and Art. The Clubhouse is a central meeting place within the community where we can be safe from STIGMA, and share our stories with each other.

 

One thing people might not know about people with mental illness is that we can have a shortened lifespan. This affects us very deeply and in 2018 we have lost 4 members. Mourning is part of our everyday existence. It may in fact be one of the causes of sickness that we can periodically slip in and out of. The only comfort we find when losing someone is in each other, and we all treat each other very gently when dealing with a loss of a Best Friend. We are so close and like a family, it seems that when one of us is hurting, we all hurt.

 

When someone gets a Job, or finds Housing, or has a Baby, we all congratulate the person and share in the Good Fortune. We Love each other and Know each other. Our staff are equally affected, and involved in our day to day happenings. They help us to do things that are hard for us, like talking to people on the phone or grocery shopping, and participate in our Events and Lives on a daily basis. Community Services provides our staffing and they are very good at finding people who fit into our Clubhouse.

 

Christmas is a special time for a lot of people, but for some people it can be a very hard time. Loneliness and grief can overshadow the Fun. The pressure to engage in Gift-Giving when on a fixed income can ruin Christmas for some of us. The gifts we receive from the Community are very much appreciated and needed. Please help us have a Christmas that is full of Love, Blessings, and Good Cheer!

 

Thank You So Much,

Arrowhead Clubhouse Members

 

We are hoping the community will provide gifts for us again this year. The following is a list of ideas for gifts but feel free to give what you want to give.

Things we Need

● Gloves ● Thermal underwear ● Flashlights ● Winter Jackets ● Backpacks ● Kitchenware ● Bedding ● Towels ● Soaps, Shampoos, Toothbrushes, etc.

Things we Want

● Chocolates ● Candy ● Toys ● Games ● Candles ● Jewelry ● Perfumes ● Trinkets and Ornaments ● Hair things ● Chocolates ● Gift Certificates or Tickets for Events

Things for the Clubhouse

● Donations to the Members Fund ● Games ● Kitchen Appliances ● Craft or Art Supplies ● Tickets to Events ● Food for Christmas Day, especially baking (if can be frozen can give anytime, otw give on Christmas Day) ● Volunteering to share a Skill or Workshop


If you have any questions please call Arrowhead Clubhouse at (604) 747-4735

MIAW

This week, 1st - 7th October, is MIAW. "MIAW?" we hear you ask. Yes, Mental Illness Awareness Week, the national public education campaign, established in 1992, designed to help open the eyes of Canadians to the reality of mental illness.

We at Arrowhead Clubhouse will be marking the week in several ways. But before we tell you about those, we'll start by sharing a few statistics that will help paint a realistic picture of mental illness here in Canada. Here are our Top Five Facts:

• In any given year, 1 in 5 people in Canada will personally experience a mental health problem or illness.
• By age 40, about 50% of the population will have or have had a mental illness.
• Almost one half (49%) of those who feel they have suffered from depression or anxiety have never gone to see a doctor about this problem.
• Mental illness is increasingly threatening the lives of our children; with Canada’s youth suicide rate the third highest in the industrialized world.
• The economic cost of mental illnesses in Canada for the health care system was estimated to be at least $7.9 billion in 1998. An additional $6.3 billion was spent on uninsured mental health services and time off work for depression and distress that was not treated by the health care system. (Reference - Mental Health Commission of Canada, 2013 - https://cmha.ca/about-cmha/fast-facts-about-mental-illness)
At the clubhouse in Sechelt our mission is to support our members who are living with serious chronic mental illness on their journey to recovery. This is done by creating opportunities through the use of our facility, support programs, our housing initiative, and our ability to build a bridge with the wider community. This coming week for example we are setting up a stall and display in Trail Bay Mall on Friday 5th from 11am to 1pm. This will give us a chance to tell the community what we are all about - come along to say hello, find out more and pick up our new brochure.

On Saturday 6th we are super excited to be heading to the Gibson's Heritage Playhouse to watch an evening of Stand-Up Comedy with host Toby Hargrave, special guest Harris Anderson and headliner Charlie Demers. These three great stand-up comedians will be raising funds in support of Arrowhead Clubhouse - https://heritageplayhouse.com/events/tba-2/

If you can't make either of these events but would like to find out more about Arrowhead Clubhouse or mental health in general, please pop in and say hello. We are located at 5554 Inlet Avenue, Sechelt (opposite the Post Office).

Before we sign off, as this week is about the realities of mental illness we thought we would take this chance to bust a few myths ...

Myth #1: Mental illnesses aren’t real illnesses.
Fact: Mental illnesses are not the regular ups and downs of life. Mental illnesses create distress, don’t go away on their own, and are real health problems with effective treatments. When someone breaks their arm, we wouldn’t expect them to just “get over it.” Nor would we blame them if they needed a cast, sling, or other help in their daily life while they recovered.
Myth #2: People don’t recover from mental illnesses.
Fact: People can and do recover from mental illnesses. Today, there are many different kinds of treatments, services, and supports that can help. The fact is, people who experience mental illnesses can and do lead productive, engaged lives. They work, volunteer, or contribute their unique skills and abilities to their communities. Even when people experience mental illnesses that last for a long time, they can learn how to manage their symptoms so they can get back to their goals.
Myth #3: People who experience mental illnesses can’t work.
Fact: Whether you realize it or not, workplaces are filled with people who have experienced mental illnesses. Mental illnesses don’t mean that someone is no longer capable of working. Some people benefit from changes at work to support their goals, but many people work with few supports from their employer. Most people who experience serious mental illnesses want to work but face systemic barriers to finding and keeping meaningful employment.

SEED is Back!

We are all really excited that the Arrowhead SEED (Skills Enhancement for Employment and Development) course is starting up again tomorrow morning! 8 clubhouse members will be taking the 8 week employment course and we’ll be helping them find employment here on the Sunshine Coast. We even have two part-time positioned lined up at the Sunshine Coast Community Service’s Food Bank.

There are a number of key people and agencies who have helped the SEED Project come to fruition. We would like to acknowledge and give thanks to: the shíshálh Nation, on who’s traditional lands our clubhouse sits, Adele Koyanagi (former Arrowhead Board Member and Employment Educator), Brenda Sleva of the Sunshine Coast Credit Union, the staff of Sunshine Coast Community Services who have helped with guidance, feedback and the sharing of their knowledge and resources, and the SEED project’s funder - The Vancouver Foundation. Thank you.

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Comedy Club - A benefit for Arrowhead Clubhouse

A fun and funny evening hosted by nationally and internationally known comic Toby Hargrave. With headliner, writer and comic Charlie Demers. Demers has published four books, he was nominated for a Juno for best comedy album in 2018. You know them both from CBC's the Debators and the Just for Laughs Comedy Festival and others. Now see them in our home town at the beautiful Heritage Playhouse. With a special surprise guest.
Note this show is rated 18+
Tickets $20 at the door or in advance at Laedeli Gifts in Gibsons, the Sechelt Visitor Centre, or on-line at share-there.com
A benefit for the Arrowhead Clubhouse in Sechelt.

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Victoria Maxwell - Crazy for Life - this Saturday!

We are so excited for this Saturday (2nd June 2018)...

Arrowhead Clubhouse is please to present - Crazy for Life, written and performed by Victoria Maxwell. Chatelech Secondary School, Sechelt, BC. Admittance by donation - doors open at 1.20pm. Also on the bill - Shirley Kennedy - reading from her book A Rose in the Desert. See you there! 

Arrowhead Clubhouse Society would like to acknowledge and thank SCCF for their support and Sponsorship of this event.

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