Vincent House helps people with mental illness gain confidence in their professional skills | New
HUDSON – Vincent House in Pasco is here to help people with mental illness return to work with dignity by offering a recovery through work program. It recently celebrated opening its doors to the community a year ago.
The program is offered to people who may depend on it long or short term. There is no end date once you have joined the Clubhouse. It’s a lifetime membership, said Elizabeth Statzer, director of Vincent House Pasco.
The aim of the work program is to develop members’ endurance, confidence and work preparation skills by participating from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday to Friday, engaging in work or in the kitchen, the visual communication unit or the like. Additionally, Vincent House can help members find employment in the community, as well as provide bridging employment to help fill this gap that individuals may have on their resumes.
“Many of our members have been told they will never work again because of their mental illness,” Statzer said. “We want to help them recover through meaningful clubhouse activity and employment. If there is a silver lining in the pandemic, I think she has brought mental health to the forefront in a way that she’s never done before. “
Mental illness is a highly isolating illness, and one of the benefits of coming to the clubhouse is that individuals learn to make friends, Statzer explained. She added that through the pandemic, she hopes people will talk about mental health in a different way and that one day there may be less stigma around it.
Bridging employment is a program unique to the clubhouse as staff develop a placement with a community employer in any field. The Pasco association developed its first transitional job with a medical practice. The jobs are entry-level, not because an individual is not talented, Statzer said, but to give them the opportunity to work easily when they haven’t been employed for years.
Members participate in bridging employment for six to nine months, and no interview is required, as Vincent House staff will match the member to the correct position. Staff will also learn the job, provide on-the-job training, and go work with the individual for a week or two. Should the member become ill, Vincent House will provide staff to fill the position.
At the end of the program, members can choose to return to the clubhouse or return to school, and another member will be employed.
“Vincent House’s goal is not just recovery through work but the hope of recovery, the clubhouse is an international model, it is evidence-based,” Statzer said. “When you see people joining a clubhouse, you see a decrease in hospitalization and incarceration rates, an increase in long-term employment, and less reliance on public benefits. “
Vincent House is funded by public programs, such as DCF which manages the substance abuse mental health services entity and system, block grants for community development through Pasco County, vocational rehabilitation and donors private. The 9,000 square foot facility sits on three acres of land, accompanied by a community garden that produces food for the kitchen. The nonprofit has seven remaining acres, which Statzer said executives plan to eventually build housing for members of its clubhouse.
Housing would be another benefit for people looking to become self-employed as their confidence in their jobs increases. It would also be a relief for them not to worry about the rising prices of rents and housing in the county.