Andrea Paquette, President, Stigma-Free Society

To Whom It May Concern:

The addition of a Clubhouse International in the Greater Victoria Area (GVA) is imperative to guide people with a history of mental illness to live to their full potential and lead lives that are both productive and satisfying.

I attended a Clubhouse Development Training workshop in Fort Wayne for those working towards initiating a new Clubhouse in Indiana, USA in 2014.  I learned in great depth how this model of psychosocial rehabilitation steers people away from hospital emergency services.  Our current medical model only assesses and treats symptoms for those living with mental illness, whereas a Clubhouse International encourages rehabilitation and reintegration back into society.  A Clubhouse International ensures lives are rebuilt through a supportive community environment that focuses on people's strengths and talents rather that simply their illness.

Staff and members equally collaborate to create opportunities for members to return to school, gain employment, have a place to live, connect with their families, make new friends and create multiple successes in their lives.

The Connections Place Society will offer the Greater Victoria Area (GVA) an evidence based and effective approach to recovery from mental illness; a best practice quality assurance system; and a global advocacy network with a strong tradition of successful community partnerships.

A new Connections Place Clubhouse will fill a much needed gap in services that currently exists in the GVA, and will add to the social safty net for those with a history of mental illness.  Let's work together to truly benefit those facing any mental health challenge and encourage them to live a lives with meaning and purpose.

Thank you,

Sincerely,

Andrea Paquette
President, Stigma-Free Society