News

Coronavirus -- Weekly Updates from the Clubhouse Community
May 15, 2020

We Are Excited to Announce the Launch of our New Webinar Training Series — WE ARE NOT ALONE: GROWING STRONGER TOGETHER

Please join us for the next webinar in our series: What about Work? How can we maintain our focus on work/employment in the current environment? Presented by: Independence Center, Missouri; Fontenehuset Bærum, Norway; Fountain House Stockholm, Sweden. Live Stream on Thursday, June 4 at 10:00am (EDT). To sign up: email WANAwebinar@fountainhouse.org.

STEPPING STONE, AUSTRALIA REOPENING VIDEO

Click here to view a six minute video prepared by Stepping Stone, Australia, with lively footage of their Clubhouse in these early days of reopening. You can see how they have arranged space, and what the Clubhouse might look and feel like in these early days of returning to the building.

Please send us any successful tips and strategies your Clubhouse community has discovered in these early days of re-opening our Clubhouses in so many parts of the world.

We will share these with other Clubhouses looking for guidance! Stay healthy, stay safe!

TO WATCH PREVIOUS WANA WEBINARS:

View our first seven Webinars below:

  • For our SEVENTH Webinar presentation entitled, The ‘Hybrid’ Clubhouse: Integrating traditional onsite Clubhouse with new virtual/remote Clubhouse innovations:
    • Click here for the Mosaic Clubhouse PowerPoint presentation
    • Click here for the Academy at Glengary PowerPoint presentation
    • Click here for the Academy at Glengary ‘Hybrid Clubhouse’ brief video clip
  • Click here for the video of our SIXTH Webinar presentation entitled, OUR VALUES: What is our Clubhouse community learning about ourselves? Our Standards? Our relationships? Our flexibility?
  • Click here for the video of our FIFTH Webinar presentation entitled, Beginning the Process of Re-Opening Our Clubhouses: Hearing from Clubhouses
  • For our FOURTH Webinar presentation entitled entitled, How are We Doing?  Clubhouses Gathering Data with our Worldwide Surveys during this Pandemic:
  • For our THIRD Webinar presentation entitled, The Virtual Work-Ordered Day presented by Genesis Club, Massachusetts:
  • Click here for the video of our SECOND Webinar presentation entitled, How Can Members Continue to Make a Meaningful Contribution to our Clubhouses During the COVID-19 Crisis?, presented by Clubhouse International
  • Click here for the video of our FIRST Webinar presentation entitled, Staying Socially Connected While Physically Distant, presented by Fountain House/New York

May 18, 2020

UPCOMING WEBINAR: The ‘Hybrid’ Clubhouse: Integrating Traditional Onsite Clubhouse with New Virtual/Remote Clubhouse Innovations, Wednesday, May 27, 2020 10:00am (EDT), presented by Mosaic Clubhouse, London, England and Academy at Glengary, Florida, USA.

May 18, 2020

UPCOMING WEBINAR

OUR VALUES: What is our Clubhouse community learning about ourselves? Our Standards? Our relationships? Our flexibility?  Wednesday, May 20, 2020 10:00am (EDT). Presented by the members and staff of Progress Place Clubhouse, Toronto, Canada.

RE-OPENING: TIPS AND STRATEGIES

Last week’s Webinar, “Beginning the Process of Re-Opening Our Clubhouses: Hearing from Clubhouses,was extremely well attended and provided helpful information to Clubhouses, as many of them gradually begin the process of re-opening their buildings.

Click here for a compendium of re-opening tips and strategies that we have collected from a wide range of Clubhouses around the world, as they begin the process of opening their Clubhouses for the daily interactions and work of the Clubhouse.

Phoenix Clubhouse, Hong Kong SAR, PRC, did not have to entirely close their building during the pandemic. As such, they have a great deal of experience of how to work in the Clubhouse while maintaining a safe, hygienic space and appropriate physical distancing. Click here for a helpful PowerPoint presentation with pictures that illustrate some of these helpful strategies.

THE VIRTUAL WORK-ORDERED DAY

As some Clubhouses have now maintained remote/virtual Work-ordered Days for many weeks or months, we have some excellent examples of how these have evolved. Click here for the Independence Center (Missouri) daily virtual Clubhouse schedule. The image below depicts the daily schedule for San Antonio Clubhouse (Texas).

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May 11, 2020

MARK YOUR CALENDARS FOR THIS UPCOMING WEBINAR!

  • Our Values: What is Our Clubhouse Community Learning About Ourselves? Our Standards? Our Relationships? Our Flexibility? Wednesday, May 20, 10:00am (EDT)

Thank you to Jesse McCrum, member of Austin Clubhouse, Texas, for sharing his artwork expressing the meaning of a Clubhouse community in this time of physical isolation from one another.


May 4, 2020

RAISING YOUR CLUBHOUSE’S VISIBILITY IN YOUR COMMUNITY

Clubhouses around the world are doing extraordinary work, in the midst of this difficult time, to keep their Clubhouse communities connected, safe, supported, and full of hope.

Some Clubhouses have shared these inspiring stories with their local media. This is frequently resulting in the surrounding community taking a renewed interest in the unique and deeply human work that Clubhouses do every day, which we hope will help to strengthen support for Clubhouses now – and into the future.

  • Click here for a newspaper article about Miracle Clubhouse, Ohio
  • Click here for a newspaper article about New Journey Clubhouse, Michigan
  • Click here for an article about Progress Place, in one of Toronto’s major newspapers

FOR USA CLUBHOUSES: USEFUL INFORMATION REGARDING GOVERNMENT BENEFITS, UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE, ‘STIMULUS CHECKS,’ ETC.

  • Click here for a helpful resource document compiled by Independence Center, Missouri.

April 25, 2020

Finding the Silver Lining: Raise Your Clubhouse’s Visibility in Your Community

Clubhouses around the world are doing extraordinary work, in the midst of this difficult time, to keep their Clubhouse communities connected, safe, supported, and full of hope.

Some Clubhouses have shared these inspiring stories with their local media. This is frequently resulting in the surrounding community taking a renewed interest in the unique and deeply human work that Clubhouses do every day, which we hope will help to strengthen support for Clubhouses now – and into the future.

  • Click here for a moving op-ed letter that Andy Wilson, Director of The Carriage House, Indiana, sent to their local newspaper. Andy says that he would be delighted if anyone else in the larger Clubhouse wants to use some of the language in this letter for a similar letter to your own local newspaper.
  • Due to the coronavirus pandemic Mosaic Clubhouse, London, is not currently providing its usual building-based Clubhouse opportunities. But as there are many homeless people in their neighborhood, the Clubhouse has opened its doors so that a local charity can use their kitchen to prepare meals to serve them. The Clubhouse tweeted, “From today @streetskitchen is using our kitchen at Mosaic to cook food for delivery to homeless people being temporarily housed by Lambeth Council! We are incredibly happy that our building and our well-loved kitchen, can be of use during this time!” @lambeth_council  |  #community

Mark Stoeltje, San Antonio Clubhouse, Texas, sent this heartfelt article to the local San Antonio newspaper, about the meaning of true community: click here to read it!

Alliance House, Salt Lake City, Utah, was featured on their local TV news, highlighting the critical work the Clubhouse is doing to ensure that people have safe and decent housing, especially in this time of crisis. Click here to view this TV segment!

Strengthening Inter-Clubhouse Connections through ‘Discord’ Platform

Stine Gjerdalen, a member from Fontenehuset Gjørvik, Norway, has worked hard to create a welcoming, accessible social media ‘gathering place’ for Clubhouse members and staff from anywhere in the world. Stine describes it as follows: “Discord is a social platform originally made for gamers, but it is being used by others as well.”

The Clubhouse in Gjøvik, Norway, started a Discord group for all members and staff in the Clubhouses in Norway, but has since opened it for all Clubhouses in the world. In this group you can talk with other members and staff in both writing, or on a voice channel. You can talk about your Clubhouse – or just about anything. The most important thing is that everyone has someone to socialize with during the COVID-19 crisis, and in your free time when the Clubhouses open again.

It is so great getting to know people across the Clubhouses and different countries! Click here to join!  This will bring you to the Discord website, and you can follow the instructions on how you make a Discord account. We hope to see you there!

REMINDER: Calling Clubhouse Heroes!

Do you have a colleague who’s gone above and beyond for your Clubhouse Community? Someone you’re just grateful to work with? We’re collecting suggestions for a Clubhouse Heroes: Stories of Gratitude series for next month when we will celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month. Send us a brief profile about someone in the Clubhouse community who you’re grateful for and why they’re a hero to you! It could be staff, a member, a board member — anyone who is in some way connected to and impacts your Clubhouse. Please limit your submission to 200 words or less. If your submission is selected, we’ll ask for a photo. Send your submission to Teri Chadwick at tchadwick@clubhouse-intl.org.


April 17, 2020

Clubhouse Response to COVID-19 in the Republic of Korea

Clubhouse International continues to meet with Coalition and Clubhouses across the globe to share information, helpful strategies and learn new ways of supporting members during the COVID-19 Crisis. This past week over 20 colleagues from the following Clubhouses in the Republic of Korea joined Joel D. Corcoran and Jack Yatsko from Clubhouse International to share their stores of hope, community and resiliency:

  • Taiwha Fountain House, Seadaemun Haebeotnuri
  • Nulpoorum, Song-guk Clubhouse
  • Vitamin, Johann Village
  • Heemangseam, Chamsari Clubhouse
  • Saebeot Clubhouse, Taiwha Sunrising Clubhouse

Highlights of their virtual Clubhouses include: Taiwha FH has 69 members continuing to work: Daily lunch box deliveries; Virtual exercise and learning programs; Morning and afternoon virtual meetings; and Robust communication via chat forums.

We Are Not Alone!

How My Clubhouse is Helping Me Navigate This Pandemic! By Karen Christ, member of Genesis Club, Worcester Massachusetts, and Clubhouse International Faculty

  • Having our daily Unit Meetings (Genesis Club is using WebEx) is extremely helpful as it provides some sense of normalcy and structure.  Each unit has these meetings twice a week.
  • Reminders about these Unit Meetings are posted ahead of time on each unit’s Facebook page.  Posting these reminders is a task that a member usually agrees to do, “side-by-side” virtually with staff.

There is an Agenda for the unit meeting (Click here for a sample of one our unit meeting agendas). The agenda is typed up (another meaningful task) and a member and staff team facilitate the unit meeting.  Everything on the agenda creates tasks/meaningful work for both staff and members.

Genesis Club has a general, main Facebook page, but each unit also has its own Facebook page. Having these Facebook Pages creates lots of possibilities for meaningful work, such as:

  • Updating the page with daily posts (For example: “Good Morning, everyone!  How are you all doing today?”).  It’s amazing how many members – and staff – post replies to these general questions.  It keeps everyone feeling connected.  We post informative things, each of which requires work for members/staff to do ahead of time, for instance:
  • Research articles with information that might be helpful during this coronavirus crisis, i.e., Mental Health Wellness Tips, or where to find certain types of help if you need it (i.e., food assistance, medical assistance, mental health assistance, etc.)
  • Our unit has posted some fun videos of people out walking, describing nature as they walk, the weather, other funny stories, etc., and these are uploaded to Facebook.  Both staff and members have made these. Some have even posted videos of recipes of things they’re making at home to help pass the time. The Kitchen Unit has a daily post from staff member Ryan called “Lunch with Ryan” and it’s hysterical – about what’s he’s having for lunch that day, how he’s made it, what it looks like – but it’s all really funny.
  • Our unit is of course doing daily outreach (as is each unit).  The members of our unit have been divided equally among the staff, who ensure that calls and/or texts and/or e-mails are made daily to members. Members “sign up” for a lot of these calls. Most of the time we try to make them “conference calls,” with a staff member and at least one, sometimes two members on the call as well.  We’ve had some really good, connecting calls this way. This morning I made two such calls with one of our staff.
  • During the Unit Meeting we go over our “Birthday List.”  We’ve been discussing various ways to be sure we remember members’ birthdays.  This is generating unit work.  We’ve made calls to members, of course, but we’re also researching other ways (members and staff teams), such as making a Google doc-type card that everyone can sign which can then be sent, or obtaining membership with an e-card company/website for a very small annual fee where you can send an unlimited number of all types of greeting cards to members, with the ability to add personalized messages signed by “the Unit.’
  • We’ve made some “house calls” as outreach, too.  As an example, one member lost her sister a couple of weeks ago. One unit member made a beautiful card, and another member, who is an extremely talented baker, made a gorgeous batch of cookies. The baker dropped off the cookies at the Clubhouse.  Yet another member picked up the card from the first member’s house, then stopped at the Clubhouse, picked up the cookies, and then dropped off both card and cookies on the porch of the member who was grieving.  It was a really good example of members coordinating meaningful work to help another member.
  • We’ve also created a specific outreach list of members who are struggling because they don’t have the technology to keep up with Unit Meetings virtually or to stay connected with the Clubhouse via social media.  We were just awarded $10,000 from the Greater Worcester Community Foundation for general emergency funds and we are using it specifically to help members acquire the technology they need during this crisis to help them stay connected.  We’ve been making 2-3 purchases a day in this regard, and everything around this issue has created meaningful work: finding out who needs the iPad with larger numbers, whose computer is broken, who doesn’t have internet access, etc.; who will place the purchase order for whatever we need to buy; who will make the purchase; who will bring it to the porch of the member’s house; and who will follow-up with instructions by phone or video-conferencing if the member needs a learning curve on the new equipment, etc.
  • Our unit is also keeping track of our members’ goals and Action Plans.  We have forms to use during conference calls with members to go over their Action Plans.  For instance, a staff, myself and another member agreed at yesterday’s Unit Meeting to partner on this. She sent me the blank Comprehensive Assessment and Goal Form we’re using for our annual Action Plans, as well as the March and April Action Plan lists. The more of these that we can complete now, and not fall behind, the better it will be for the unit.  But we’re also hoping it will be a good process for members who need a plan, as they can have a thoughtful phone conversation to identify what goals they’d like to work on at the Clubhouse this year.

Fundraising

We’re seeing announcements for available funds for tele-health programs (click here for an example). Research online for what’s available in your region or click here to check out this potential resource.

Member Musings: Life in the Time of Physical Distancing

Click here for reflections of members of Austin Clubhouse, Texas, as they find strength and meaning through their experiences of living through the crisis of COVID-19.


April 10, 2020: NEW This Week

We want to share a few useful resources that might be helpful to Clubhouses as most of us continue to operate as ‘remote/virtual’ Clubhouse communities.

  • Fountain House Telephonic Infrastructure. Click here for a document created by Fountain House, New York, with helpful resources about how to ensure that members are able to access their Clubhouse community during this time. The brief document includes excellent resources to address issues regarding members who lack the technology and/or skillset to actively participate in its virtual clubhouse platforms (Facebook, Slack, Zoom, etc.).
  • Tips and Strategies_Fundraising and Funding. Fundraising in a time of crisis is stressful for everyone. Finding the right solution for your funding needs can be a challenge; what works for your local food pantry may not work for your Clubhouse. But what you can adapt, you can apply. Click here for Clubhouse International resource information regarding Funding and Fundraising in this environment.
  • Direct Mail Campaign Tips. If your Clubhouse is trying to make decisions about a direct mail campaign, you might find this useful.
  • Genesis House Virtual 5K Fundraiser. Understandably, many scheduled Clubhouse events have been canceled due to the ‘stay at home’ orders in places around the world. However, some Clubhouses have creatively reinvented some of their scheduled events so that they can be held ‘virtually’ rather than in person. Genesis House, in Fowlerville, Michigan, has converted its ‘All Minds Matter 5K’ fundraiser event into a virtual race! Click here for a template invitation that your Clubhouse might use or adapt for your own fundraising purposes.

For Clubhouses in the USA: There is an opportunity for Clubhouses to apply for potential funding through the SBA (Small Business Administration), as part of the recently passed Stimulus bill by Congress. We are aware of three Clubhouses thus far that are applying for these funds. Breakthrough Club (Kansas) has already gotten approval for their application. If interested, your Clubhouse Director/Board should carefully review the Act to weigh the pros and cons of applying. Kailey, Barb and Lori are willing to help you by sharing their experience with this opportunity.

The loan forgiveness aspect of this funding is potentially particularly attractive for Clubhouses.

Summary of Helpful Resource Documents:

  • Coronavirus Emergency Loans Small Business Guide and Checklist. The SBA loan for disaster relief now includes areas impacted by COVID-19. Organizations and small businesses can apply for up to $2 million at a low rate (around 4%) with a 30 year term and no payment for the first year. If approved, this loan can be used in any capacity for an organization to stay open during the COVID-19 pandemic. This original SBA loan must be submitted to the SBA directly.
  • Coronavirus Emergency Loans Small Business Guide and Checklist. The CARES Act that was passed on March 27th, which was also part of the stimulus bill, allows organizations to apply for a loan in areas that are impacted by COVID-19. The loan can be up to 2.5 times the monthly payroll cost of an organization, with a cap of $10 million. This loan is specific to cover payroll costs to keep workers of an organization and not having to lay off employees. This loan can be FORGIVEN if the loan is used for payroll purposes (with limits and restrictions). This loan will be through banks and not SBA itself. For the second loan, it is important to make sure the organization has updated financials through February 2020 as well as a current list of employees, their positions and annual salary.
  • Lastly, on the links below for information regarding the Payroll Protection loan application. It is important to get an application in quickly:

April 3, 2020

As we continue to have online meetings and other communications with the worldwide Clubhouse community, we gather additional innovative and creative strategies that Clubhouses are implementing to meet the evolving needs of members during this time.

  • Click here to see Issue #3 of our Tips & Strategies for Clubhouses
  • Click here to see many new ideas added to our Virtual Communities page!

GOOD NEWS FROM THIS WEEK:We are spending more time talking to each other and as a result we are deepening our relationships.”

  • Clubhouses in many states/countries are successfully working together to ensure continued funding for Clubhouses through this crisis.
  • One Clubhouse reported that their new staff are really seeing what it means that the Clubhouse community can support members in a powerful, direct and immediate way. This experience is helping staff and members more fully understand the depth and meaning of Clubhouse relationships.
  • A Clubhouse member said that she never understood how life-giving her connection with her Clubhouse community was until this crisis, and that it is the Clubhouse community that is now helping her to maintain her sense of security and hope as this crisis unfolds.
  • Clubhouses are finding that some members who have not been coming to the Clubhouse for long periods of time, are reconnecting through this current effort. Some have said that they will return to the Clubhouse when the crisis is over.
  • The COVID-19 crisis has inspired creativity and innovation in Clubhouse communities, and reignited their sense of the importance of community.
  • Clubhouses are finding that they are invigorated and inspired and finding new ways to express the deepest values of our Standards.

Thank you to Clubhouses in the following states/countries that joined our regional update calls last week, and shared your strategies and tips: Canada, Pennsylvania, Florida, Genesis Club, (Massachusetts), North Carolina, AIM Center (Tennessee), B’More Clubhouse, Maryland, Gateway (Ohio), Oklahoma, Nebraska, Australia, Wyoming, Colorado, Norway, Hawaii

March 31, 2020.

FIND THEM HERE! New Strategies for Forming a Virtual Clubhouse!

PLEASE CLICK HERE to find a compilation of suggestions for implementing a Virtual Clubhouse, gathered from many Clubhouses, coalitions, and our Training Bases. As it looks as if this situation may continue for some time, we will continue to update you with new strategies as we move ahead into this unknown terrain of this ‘new normal.’


Click Here to View this Important Message to the Clubhouse Community

March 15, 2020. Clubhouse International, Clubhouse Europe and Fountain House are coordinating efforts to monitor the status of the COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) outbreak so we can share vital information with our community and will continue to do so over the coming weeks and months. We understand that this epidemic strikes directly at the heart of our model that is built on social connection, but we must make difficult decisions quickly, as the choices we make in the next week will have a significant impact on the speed and scale of spread of this virus, especially within our tightly knit and more vulnerable Clubhouse communities.

Social distancing is critical for curbing the pandemic. Most importantly, that means Clubhouses around the world must prepare action plans for decreasing on-site programming, and possibly closing their physical locations to reduce the risk of transmission for members and the broader community.

The time to act is NOW. We do not want Clubhouses to be in a position where they are FORCED to close by their governments without a plan to remain connected and provide essential services to their members.

What is the potential impact on members from COVID-19? Many if not most of our community members are at elevated risk of more severe symptoms and of complications from COVID-19 infection. That includes those over 60; members with chronic physical illnesses such as respiratory disease, diabetes, heart disease, cancer and autoimmune diseases, and active smokers are also at higher risk of developing more severe illness and complications. For everyone, the coronavirus epidemic and related coverage can increase anxiety and stress, and so focusing on wellbeing is important, including physical activity, healthy eating, and sleep.

What has been the impact on Clubhouses? Global confirmed cases of COVID-19 now approach 150,000. The impact on Clubhouse programs that we know about, in China, South Korea and Italy have been significant – resulting in Clubhouse closures and reduced services that impact more than thousands of Clubhouse members.

What must Clubhouses do? Clubhouses around the world are being asked to work with members and staff to devise action plans and communications to mitigate the risks that possible disruption of services can lead to.

Considerations that must be taken in all decision-making should include impacts on:

  • Highest risk members
    • Age >60 and/or
    • Chronic respiratory illness (asthma, COPD, etc.)
    • Cardiovascular disease (heart disease, heart failure, history of stroke)
    • Diabetes
    • Kidney disease
    • Immune deficiency (autoimmune conditions, HIV, cancer)
  • Access to basic needs, such as food and hygiene supplies for members
  • Access to technology to ensure that members adequately stay connected without a physical gathering space
  • Communications – how are members going to find out about changes to services and potential closures? (e.g., email, social media, phone trees, home visits, etc.)
  • Mobile outreach – making sure to have precise physical addresses for all members. (e.g. not just P.O. boxes, streets or apartment complexes)
  • Staffing – what will happen if essential staff become sick or are required to quarantine?

What are some practical examples of what Clubhouses are doing to communicate and reduce risk? As an example, Fountain House has done the following:

  • Created a COVID-19 Task Force of members and staff that connects multiple times a week.
  • Created phased draw-down plan to reduce physical attendance at the Clubhouse and to increase 1:1 outreach and digital tools for connection; action plan created for Clubhouse closure and switch to virtual services
  • Ensured that staff and peers doing 1:1 home visits, especially to high-risk members, have access to masks and gloves (PPE – personal protective equipment), maintain meal delivery (meals on wheels) and medication delivery and support.
  • Disseminated communications to members and staff in a structured, weekly format (printed sheets following standard format, weekly meetings).
  • Asked high-risk members to avoid attending the Clubhouse in-person, and have provided additional supports to remain connected, such as increased phone calls and digital outreach.
  • Implemented daily sanitization schedule in line with WHO and CDC
  • Provided internal guidance for social practitioners to proactively screen members in units and throughout the Clubhouse to make sure they are staying healthy.
  • Expanded PROACTIVE reach out calls and coordinated basic supplies (including food and hygiene items, if necessary) for members so they can self-quarantine safely and effectively.
  • Required non-social practitioner staff to work from home or limit time in the clubhouse.
  • Developed necessary protocols and action plans if residences need to be quarantined.
  • Stopped all official Fountain House travel out of state, and have asked staff to limit personal travel.
  • Engaged digital tech solutions to create a temporary virtual unit. “Virtual Fountain House” (Facebook, Slack, conference calls, etc.)

We are here to help and are a resource to the Clubhouse community. We will plan to share messages weekly. We have also created a help desk where you can reach out with any direct questions or support you might need for your Clubhouse response to COVID-19, including resources such as weekly message templates. Please contact us at COVIDclubhouseintl@fountainhouse.org. We stand ready to help as much as possible.

Sincerely,

Ashwin Vasan, M.D., PhD, President and CEO, Fountain House, Assistant Professor, Mailman School of Public Health and Vagelos College of Physicians & Surgeons at Columbia Universit

Joel D. Corcoran, M.Ed, Executive Director, Clubhouse International

Wander ReitsmaChair, Clubhouse Europe


More About COVID-19

What are the symptoms of COVID-19? The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Some people may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don’t feel unwell. Typically, it can be 5-6 days after exposure before symptoms appear, and illness usually lasts 2-3 weeks. People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention. Unless it is a true emergency, please CALL your local health provider first, before presenting, as we predict our global healthcare systems will be under enormous strain during this pandemic.

How can I reduce the risk of exposure or transmission?

  • Social distancing: reduce the number of contacts you have with people outside of your family. Keep a minimum 6 foot distance from people when interacting
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue, cloth or sleeve when sneezing or coughing — do not use your hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds on all sides, or use an alcohol-based (minimum 70% alcohol) hand sanitizer if hand washing is unavailable.
  • Do not touch your face or mouth with unwashed hands
  • Do not share food, drink or eating utensils with others
  • Regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched items and surfaces, such as phones, computers, bathrooms and doorknobs.
  • If you are a smoker, stop using or limit cigarettes and vaping.
  • Stay home if you do not feel well, especially if you have a fever (>100.4F) or active cough, and seek medical care
  • Keep healthy! Eat well, get sleep, minimize alcohol or substance intake, and exercise. Running and swimming are safe, but avoid crowded gym locker rooms

For the most up-to-date resources, information and guidance on the coronavirus epidemic, please consult the WHO website at: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public


Click here to view and download “Clubhouses and Coronavirus: Tips and Strategies

March 14, 2020. As a worldwide network of Clubhouse communities, we depend on one another for support and advice. With the coronavirus pandemic continuing to evolve in most of our countries, Clubhouse International has been gathering strategies that Clubhouses and others have identified as helpful to face this challenge.

As a reminder: we are postponing scheduled accreditation visits and meetings in March and April, 2020.

We have organized below some information here that we hope will be helpful. While we are certainly not experts, we do offer these ideas for your consideration. Please use your best judgement and monitor the advice from the most reliable government and official local health authorities.

We are especially grateful to Phoenix Clubhouse, Hong Kong SAR, PRC; Hope Clubhouse, People’s Republic of China; Dandelion Clubhouse, People’s Republic of China; Potential Place, Alberta, Canada; and HERO House NW, Washington, USA; B’More Clubhouse, Baltimore, Maryland, USA, Fountain House, New York, New York, USA for sharing their Clubhouse’s strategies.

1. KNOW THE FACTS

For the most up-to-date resources, information and guidance on the coronavirus epidemic, we recommend that you consult the following resources. There is a lot of information here that you can use to educate your community and inform your decisions during this time.

2. SAMPLE COMMUNICATION DOCUMENT FOR YOUR CLUBHOUSE

Some Clubhouses are posting signs and/or sending other communications to staff and members. Here is an example:

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, we need your help to keep our Clubhouse as safe as possible. The greatest risk is from close contact with other people who have coronavirus. If you feel unwell with any cold or flu-like systems (coughing, fever, etc.) please stay at home to help yourself recover and protect others.

While you are at home:

  • Please be in frequent contact with us at the Clubhouse. We care about you and want to know how you are doing and how we might help. Call us, email us, text us, connect on Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, WeChat or other social media.
  • Maintain a healthy routine of eating well, exercise, and sleep.
  • Engage in activities that you enjoy.
  • Stay in touch with family and friends.
  • Avoid spending too much time monitoring news about the virus if you find it upsetting.
  • Continue any healthcare plans you have in place. 
  • Continue to practice good hygiene and prevention (e.g. social distancing, hand washing, regularly clean surfaces, and follow good food preparation practices, etc.).

When you come in to the Clubhouse

  • Please make sure you wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use hand sanitizer.
  • Use our wet wipes to wipe the desks, keyboards, tables etc. that you use.
  • Help us to keep door handles and all commonly used objects and spaces clean.
  • Try your best to not touch your face (eyes, mouth, nose), as this is the way a virus can be transferred from an infected surface to your body.
  • Catch any coughs and sneezes in a tissue, throw it away immediately, and wash/disinfect your hands.
  • If you do not have a tissue ready, make sure you cough or sneeze into your elbow.
  • Avoid hand shaking. Some people are substituting tapping each other’s ankles, or simply using a small bow, as a greeting. Keep a safe distance where possible.
  • Help other members be mindful about all the above. 

If you have returned from coronavirus affected areas abroad, or think you might have been in contact with someone that has it, please check government websites for advice, or call to speak with Clubhouse staff. We hope we can all work together to limit the spread and keep our community informed. Take care! 

3. SAMPLE POWERPOINT WITH SAFETY INFORMATION

The Academy at Glengary, Florida, USA, produced a PowerPoint presentation for use at Clubhouse meetings, to educate and inform the Clubhouse community. Please feel free to use these slides and customize them for your own Clubhouse use. Click here to open the presentation.

4. REACH OUT SUGGESTIONS 

If your Clubhouse operations are limited or suspended temporarily, the following are some examples of Clubhouse’s efforts to maintain contact with members.

Hope Clubhouse, People’s Republic of China, used WeChat and daily telephone calls to all members. The Clubhouse also prepared videos regarding epidemic prevention, health eating suggestions, online English classes, information about exercise, and general recovery principles. These videos were regularly shared throughout the Clubhouse community, to help maintain a sense of connection and community.

Dandelion Clubhouse, People’s Republic of China, also did a great deal of online support. This included:

  • In WeChat, we share recipes for delicious food. Members review recipes with each other and do the cooking in each person’s home, and then communicate online.
  • We have a WeChat public account. We provide scientific articles about the epidemic on this account that our whole Clubhouse community can access. This helps educate us about the epidemic and how best to protect ourselves.
  • We have developed an online support team, where we share our opinions about the coronavirus and express our emotions. 
  • In all, we are together, and there is no difficulty we can’t handle.
  • And also, we are together with you, the international Clubhouse community!

B’More Clubhouse, Baltimore, Maryland, offers these ideas:

  • Have two regularly scheduled Clubhouse-wide meetings each day, via conference call, in the morning and afternoon when regular house or unit meetings generally occur. Provide a dial-in number that can be accessed by the whole community.
  • Staff will reach out to members on a regular basis, via phone and in-person visits. Staff will ensure that members basic community support needs are being met, even when the Clubhouse is temporarily closed.

Other reach out suggestions include:

  • Create a virtual newsletter, with members and staff submitting articles, that is distributed to the whole community on a daily or weekly basis.
  • Develop a shopping trip schedule, so all members can have access to rides to stores to buy food and other supplies.
  • Create some social program activities that can be done online. These might include:
  • Host discussion groups.
  • Have an online exercise group on a daily basis.
  • Watch a movie or television show together, over people’s phones or computers.

5. SAMPLE PREPAREDNESS RESPONSE PLANS

HERO House NW, Washington, USA developed a comprehensive preparedness plan that might of help to Clubhouses as you create your own plan. HERO HOUSE NW CONTINGENCY PLAN

Potential Place Clubhouse, Canada developed a comprehensive preparedness plan that might of help to Clubhouses as you create your own plan. POTENTIAL PLACE RESPONSE PLAN

6. IN SUMMARY

All of the Clubhouses that have shared their plans with us agree that whatever decisions they are making in their communities, the most important messages are:

  • Decisions are being made from a place of care and concern 
  • The Clubhouse will continue to be diligent in staying apprised of developing information and will adjust accordingly. 
  • The Clubhouse (whether opened or closed) will remain connected to members throughout this challenge.

We encourage Clubhouses to also remain connected to the larger network of Clubhouses in your region, coalition, and/or country.


March 12, 2020: As we all continue to learn more about this fast evolving situation regarding the novel coronavirus pandemic and make the necessary adjustments in our work and daily life, we want to be in touch with you again. At Clubhouse International we continue to monitor the advice and direction from expert healthcare, scientific and government organizations and we are making necessary adjustments to our activity and operations. At this point, we are postponing scheduled accreditation visits and meetings in March and April. In the coming weeks we may extend these postponements and other planned trainings, meetings and travel plans. We will be in touch with those Clubhouses and individuals involved as we adjust our plans.

In the meantime, we ask that you consider delaying making travel arrangements for Clubhouse International related activities and events as long as possible. This may help avoid unnecessary expenses and complications. Please contact us if you have specific questions or concerns.

We would also like to share this article from our partners at Fountain House in New York. Fountain House is the largest Clubhouse in the world. They have some unique challenges compared to other Clubhouses. However, they also have more people with experience and expertise in both public health and Clubhouse management and culture. Therefore, Fountain House and Clubhouse International together thought it might be useful to share a recent communication Fountain House provided to its community. It has clear and specific information and guidance that you may find useful for your Clubhouse. We are grateful to Fountain House for making this available.

We also encourage you to stay in touch with us and let us know if you have any strategies or communication materials that may be helpful to others in the Clubhouse International community.

Best wishes for health and safety to all.


March 6, 2013: In response to the continuing spread of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), we have been carefully monitoring reports from both the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). While we are aware that the immediate risk of the virus is relatively low for the general public, we have been in touch with many Clubhouses on an individual basis and wanted to forward the information below to all member Clubhouses.

CDC has issued ongoing guidance regarding the virus, and related to avoiding non-essential travel to certain areas, states and countries. It is Clubhouse International’s hope that our training and accreditation work will not be affected, but we will continue to monitor this developing situation to assess whether any action may become necessary. To date, we have not yet had to cancel any scheduled accreditation visits.

Please feel free to contact us directly with any specific questions or issues you or your Clubhouse might have in this regard.

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