Hannah was a recent intern with us at Elliot House (our clubhouse located in Needham) and she wrote me a quick note last week. With her permission, I’m sharing her insights in the hopes that others could learn from her experience in working with adults with mental illness:
“I wanted to say thank you so much for the opportunity to work at Elliot House. I had a wonderful experience, and really connected well with the members and staff. I was exposed to many different aspects of mental health. While some members were steadily improving throughout my two months, I saw others who relied heavily on the clubhouse, simply as a reason to get out of bed in the morning. The conversations I had with these various members in different states of their illnesses were meaningful, and I felt I had an impact that would not have been possible in a hospital or ward setting. When I explained my volunteer work this summer, many people asked what it was “like” to interact with people with mental illness. To me, just this question demonstrates how often people, including myself in the beginning of this summer, mistakenly view these diseases. The clubhouse in Needham was not an isolated location with locked doors. The members took public transportation, and held part time jobs in the Newton and Needham community – at places like the public library and the supermarket. I began to truly appreciations the implications of the stigma of mental illness, and I will keep my experience in mind as I hope to pursue a dual degree in law and social work. I am grateful for the opportunity and thank you again.
~Scott M. Bock, CEO/President