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In this day and age of pandemic protocols and subsequent social isolation, we have begun to truly understand the importance of ‘social opportunity’ in the maintenance of peoples’ mental health and wellness. The seemingly endless social isolation created by the pandemic has weakened morale in many communities and strained the resourcefulness of mental health serving organizations. Over the past year, we have seen the impact that social isolation has taken on the lives of our members. While facing the ‘ups and downs’ of a global pandemic, we as a mental health serving organization felt compelled to offer as many opportunities for social connection as possible.
As our 2nd year anniversary rapidly approached, we concentrated on finding an opportunity for connection that would work within the current COVID-19 protocols. The idea for our event was sparked during a conversation about offering evening and weekend hours within the Clubhouse. Although we knew that providing weekly evening hours was not yet possible, we pondered what it would look like to offer a monthly social evening for our members. As a young organization, we are always seeking opportunities to expand our programming through our culture of collaboration, engagement, and support. Hosting a celebratory anniversary event alongside the launch of a monthly ‘evening hour social’ event was intriguing. Thus, Movie Night was born!
On March 24, 2021 we hosted our 2nd year anniversary celebration in conjunction with our first ever evening hour social event—Movie Night. We hosted the event outside of our usual operational hours, from 6:30pm to 8:30pm. We opened the space for twelve members to enter the Clubhouse alongside a couple of staff members to facilitate the evening. Following ‘restaurant style protocols’ (ie. face covering remains on unless eating or seated), we were able to offer an evening that began with a short slideshow to celebrate our 2nd year anniversary, then a movie that members had voted for. We served several snacks including some sweet treats generously donated by Paris Roka Candy. Cheers were heard all around and smiles seen on everyone’s face at this event!
Reflecting back on the evening, we deemed the event to be incredibly successful! The demand for this service will certainly push us to offer more evening socials and similar events as much as our current facilities will allow. The success of our event was a reminder that services in the community should do their part to safely offer the opportunities that all individuals need to navigate through the unforgiving impact of social isolation.
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