On Tuesday, March 15th, both interns took a trip to New York City to explore the first successful Clubhouse ever. Personally, I was very excited and had a lot to inquire about. Since Shore House is the only Clubhouse that I am very familiar with, it was eye-opening to notice the similarities and differences between each Clubhouse but still underlying the use of the same Clubhouse Model of Psychosocial Rehabilitation approach.
One of the first things that amazed me about Fountain House was the building itself. From the outside, it looked rather small, but upon entering there is a decent amount of space. In all, there were about 6 or 7 floors which included several units. Three of my favorite units were the culinary, wellness, and horticulture unit. In the culinary unit, they offer cooking classes, where once they make the food, they are able to take it home with them. I feel that this is beneficial to members because cooking could be used as a coping mechanism and once the classes are over they have something to show for it, which could make them feel better about what they created.
The wellness unit was amazing as well. Since I am also interested in physical health in conjunction with mental health, I found this unit to be very useful. I admired that they have trainers on-site to help members use the machines or assist them with working out. This demonstrates the partnership that is used in the Clubhouse model, rather than members struggling own their own. In addition, they offer yoga classes. Since yoga can help individuals increase concentration and reduce stress, I believe that this assists members even more during their recovery and maintains a health-conscious culture at the organization.
The horticulture unit was a surprise to me because it not only captured a different interest of the members but they have their own greenhouse! They grow their own vegetables and use them in the culinary unit or for lunches for the members. By being able to grow their own vegetables, they are being cost-efficient and it gives those who are interested in gardening a chance to work in a unit that they love.
Our time at Fountain House was an incredible and unforgettable experience. Everything, from the design of their multi-floor facility to the multitude of jobs managed and accomplished by members who actively cooperated with one another, was a series of inspiring and often-serendipitous sights. The member that guided us through the facility was very informative, welcoming, and an attentive speaker. As we toured the facility, we were introduced to:
- Ashley and Tyshawn
Blog posts are written by Shore House members and staff.