Daniel's Story: Lansing MI
By Daniel K. Arnold
After too many mental health hospitalizations to count, I’ve been around the block with my mental health recovery. I have asked myself, “Who will take the time to understand my individual situation on a day-by-day basis?” “Who will give me the dignity to see myself as a professional in training?” “Who will give me a hand-up and not just another hand-out?”
Easy answer: Charter House Clubhouse.
Every day is a new chapter, an inspirational adventure. Those around me are my friends and peers. There are no ‘supervisors’, just helpers and facilitators that are true to self. You can see the human side in everyone, and I feel truly appreciated and respected here.
When did it begin? Three weeks ago. I realized I’ve been emotionally sick for a long time, without structure in my life. I found that I was ready to check out the Clubhouse in Lansing. I’ve known I’ve had something to offer, but where do I truly fit in?
I want to be somewhere where I am challenged to be real, and to better myself.
I quickly found Charter House to be that place. It is a casual, safe, yet serious environment – that changes lives. Many days I assist with Medicaid billing and make reach out cards for members who are sick, or have been gone from Charter House. Other times, I attend meetings involving Clubhouse outreach and membership. I provide my input, knowing that people really care what I have to say. Just about every day I contribute something new to the community newsletter.
Staff are almost always willing to be interrupted, even when they are extremely busy. My work in the Clubhouse matters to them, because they know that we the members are a major part of the solution, the puzzle, the mission. The staff work alongside the members. They talk with us, not at us.
Members have a deep heart for each other, modeled by staff. They are willing to work together, and find that everyone has something unique to bring to the table. I am finding those around me willing to help lend an ear, to help me write a book that I have always wanted to write. Every voice matters here!
In addition, I never knew that working on menial tasks could add to my professional development when they become part of a greater, beautiful whole—Our Clubhouse. I am developing discipline, love, and teamwork skills. My goal is to come to the Clubhouse for 40 consistent hours a week in the near future, to develop work endurance.
People call me a leader; I am learning to speak up.
Thank you Charter House and the Clubhouse Model.
Daniel (A Grateful Member)