By: Duncan Macdonald
The Clubhouse assist members to reach their vocational and educational goals by helping them take advantage of educational opportunities in the community. When the Clubhouse also provides an in house educational program, it significantly utilizes the teaching and tutoring skills of members.
This standard is very important especially considering that mental illness typically strikes during high school and college years. Members need the opportunity to finish their education and obtain their employment goals. I have been personally fortunate to assist with both as a student and tutoring. As a student I experienced both the highs and the lows of going to college with mental illness and the support I needed from members and staff. I had days where everything was going well and I could give energetic reports. Still other days were met with challenges where absolutely nothing appeared to go right. On those days I would come into Alliance House and there was always a friendly and supportive member or staff willing to sit with me and work through the challenges. The staff would assist me with stress reduction by getting me to assist with projects and Clubhouse work as well as getting me to lighten up by bantering back and forth. This was truly beneficial to me and has given me the empathy to be able to understand others and the challenges they face with their education. I really like to see the Aha moments when a student realizes they are getting a concept.
I highly encourage all members to take the opportunity to work towards finishing their education and also to tutor if they so desire and have the skills necessary.