from Gerald Butler:
I recently visited Fisher Clubhouse in Southwest Detroit and it turned out to be a very pleasant, enjoyable, and enlightening trip. I was well received into a relaxed atmosphere and the consumers made me feel very welcomed. I was immediately reminded of the real purpose of the Clubhouses. Many of us either forgot or never learned certain social and life skills and the Clubhouses play a major role in the recovery process. The Clubhouses are where we develop and hone those life skills. It was encouraging to see all these recovery-centered things going on at Fisher Clubhouse.
Through programs, seminars, conferences, etc. professionals advise us on the ‘in and outs’ of recovery. The Clubhouse is one of the few places where we find the ‘Open and Welcoming Environment’ (as recommended by the Freedom Commission) where we can apply what we have been taught. In the Clubhouses of the past we sat around, smoked and played cards all day. Today the Clubhouse is a beehive of learning, freedom, growth, and recovery. When I visit a clubhouse, the first place I look is into the consumers’ faces to see if they are happy and growing. The same sort of happy faces I saw at Fisher Clubhouse I also noticed on visits to ‘Friendship Clubhouse’ in Highland Park and ‘New Journey’ in Detroit. Those smiles are my best gauge of how well the Clubhouse is doing.
One month until Empowerment Day, the excitement is in the air and the ‘Recovery Band’ is on a roll. During May (Mental Health Month) we will be particularly busy doing gigs in the community. Patti Charleston, a Peer Support Specialist, has been working with the band on a special gift she will present at our celebration. Scott Davis, who until recently had never even heard of recovery, will be offering a song he wrote. Denise (D. C.) Holiday will be doing the song ‘Golden’. The main thing is how, through Peer Support, the band is growing closer to each other, and how that camaraderie reflects in the music we play. Yes, the ‘Freedom Train’ has left the station; next stop ‘Samaritan Center’ May 30th at 9:00 AM.