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).


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.


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.


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,



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


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.


Acceptance, exercise, and art equal happiness

For many folks, the diagnosis of a mental illness most often comes with a prescription for medication. In many cases, this is a good thing because the truly shattering symptoms of illnesses like bipolar disorder and schizophrenia can be greatly relieved by careful chemical assistance.

But, as good as many medications are, many patients do not respond positively to them. Indeed, many feel some clinical benefit while having to endure significant negative side-effects. Some of these can include weight gain, insomnia, and loss of libido – which can be emotionally devastating.

Every day I field questions about mental health issues, but this one is the most common: Beyond medication, are there ways I can make my life happier?

Yes! There are lifestyle and social choices that can dovetail nicely with pharmaceutical interventions and lead to a more gratifying and positive future.

The first is love and acceptance – and this area I address to family and friends of folks living with a mental illness, and to the community in general.

The stigma borne by people with mental illness is strong, and it is a sad fact that many sufferers isolate themselves to avoid it. This only makes matters worse. Just knowing there is support, understanding, and acceptance can make symptoms feel less horrible.

The second is exercise. In my days as a personal trainer, I saw daily the positive influence on mood that regular exercise causes. There is abundant research that links an up-tick in mood following physical exertion. Part of the problem with folks suffering mental illness is motivation; and this brings up the point I made above. With love and support, that motivational push can come from a friend or family member who cares.

A few years ago, I worked with a massage therapist with a group of psych patients at a Lower Mainland hospital. For a month, I led a daily session of stretching, a fast walk, and another stretching session. This was followed by 30 minutes of massage. The effect was dramatic. Our feedback forms revealed that all patients said their mood was improved and their outlook more hopeful.

There are many theories about why exercise works. My own belief is that the mind and the body are one. An unquiet mind feels and is influenced by an active body and positive body image. Move the legs, and the spirit will follow.

Art – I can’t stress enough the value of creative expression and its ability to bring peace to a tortured psyche. There are many high-minded theories about the role of art and its influence on mood – stuff like elevated serotonin levels and the like. But I take a more simple view. I think that art comes from our core self, the place that is truly “me” and which can be accessed only with the most honest intention.

I have the great honour to know and count as friends many members of the Arrowhead Clubhouse, many of whom have artistic abilities and inclinations. I have seen incredible works of art produced by members and am overwhelmed by the beauty and inspiration in their work – and by the clarity and peace of mind the act of creating art can cause.

So, a loving and accepting social environment, lots of vigorous exercise, and the freedom to express artistically: these are essential components for a happy life.

Hugh Macaulay- Community Columnist and Board Member of Arrowhead Clubhouse

- See more at:  http://www.coastreporter.net/community/columnists/acceptance-exercise-and-art-equal-happiness-1.2221324