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Today was my turn to read a member’s statement in the house. I took the opportunity to talk about the incredible dedication of a group of parents who call themselves “Moms Like Us“. They are hoping to get a new clubhouse facility built somewhere in the CRD. It is clear to me that there is desperate need for such a facility here in the CRD and I am extremely supportive of the Moms Like Us initiative.

My Statement

Madame Speaker, I recently had the pleasure of meeting a group of parents who call themselves “Moms Like Us”. These parents all had something in common — an adult child or family member struggling with mental illness.

Moms Like Us became motivated to advocate for their adult children as they watched them becoming increasingly isolated and dependent.

Moms like us presented me with details of an established program called Clubhouse International with 322 clubhouses worldwide in 33 countries. This program is based on psychosocial rehabilitation, an innovative evidence-based, best-practice model that helps people living with mental illness lead productive lives. The clubhouse motto is a belief that everyone has a right:

  1. To a place to come;
  2. To meaningful work
  3. To meaningful relationships;
  4. To a place to return.

Internationally recognized, Fountain House was the first Clubhouse to open in New York City in 1948.  It has since blossomed into a global program that recognizes an individual’s potential through meaningful work and the support of a caring community.

Clubhouse International’s programs of social relationships and meaningful work have literally saved thousands of lives over the past 66 years.  Its program is a beacon of hope for those living with mental illness that are too often consigned to lives of homelessness, imprisonment, social stigma and isolation.

We have three Clubhouses in British Columbia: New Horizons Clubhouse in Port Alberni, Arrowhead Centre, in Sechelt, and Pathways Clubhouse in Richmond.

As the member from Richmond Steveston recently told the house, Pathways Clubhouse undertook an independent audit that showed that for every dollar invested in them there was a societal return on investment of $14. This means that the demand on hospitals, police departments and other emergency services was reduced as a result of having a Clubhouse International in Richmond. Those are the kind of economics we can all get behind.

Honourable Speaker, Moms Like Us are working towards the establishment of a Clubhouse International in the Capital Regional District. I ask that the house join me in wishing them every success in their endeavours.

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