Clubhouse Partners with UNH Class

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Seacoast Pathways, a program of Granite Pathways, is a mental health recovery peer community in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

On Monday, March 22, Seacoast Pathways Clubhouse transformed from the usual setting of a work ordered day to a cooperative classroom with a class from the University of New Hampshire. Professor Nikhil Tomar (pictured) (Ph.D., M.S. and B.S. Occupational Science and Therapy) brought his class from UNH, entitled Occupation, Identity and Disability to the Clubhouse via Zoom for an exchange of concepts and understandings regarding the relationships between mental health and occupational therapy. The Clubhouse currently offers a training ground for UNH occupational interns.

Our Clubhouse group consisted of a combination of members, staff and one volunteer. We were charged with making a presentation to the UNH class in which the Clubhouse concepts of non-clinical therapy were explained. Clubhouse Director, Ann Strachan, Staff members Kaylin Samia and Scott Garnett, member Maureen Hayward and volunteer Joe Hill all presented their viewpoints on how Seacoast Pathways addressed elements of members' disabilities with a program that enhanced members' self concept (Identity.)

Maureen spoke eloquently about our program's success in making her feel accepted, wanted and needed as a Clubhouse member. This tied in well with Joe's point of "inclusion" as being a major hallmark of the Clubhouse. Kaylin explained how the work ordered day of a Clubhouse is designed to bring out the capabalities of all members and Scott addressed the subject of "stigma" as being a major target of elimination in all Clubhouse activities. Ann moderated and was able to bring in sharp and clear examples of how the Clubhouse model has helped members with moving forward in life, improving economic or educational mobility and achieving success in spite of having a mental health challenge.

And, of course, the UNH students asked challenging questions, led by their mentor and Professor, Nikhil Tomar.

Seacoast Pathways strives to serve the seacoast community with educational opportunities for learning about or enhancing understanding of mental illness. In the past the Portsmouth Police Department has presented on their latest advancements in responding to those in a mental health crisis. Other events have included film viewings, support groups, and other presentations made by the Clubhouse to Portsmouth Hospital patients and various professional groups and organizations.

For more information call 603-812-9031 or email us at seacoastpathways@gmail.com

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