Lorraine S., a Neponset River Clubhouse member, has been an integral part of Riverside’s Quality Management team for nearly a year, working three days a week filing, scanning, and visiting Riverside program sites to check paperwork compliance. The Quality Management team is an important part of Riverside’s mission, as they protect human rights, investigate incidents, examine outcomes, and ensure Riverside complies with regulations and delivers high-quality care.
Because of Quality Management’s outstanding support of Lorraine, they will receive an Employer of the Year award at the Massachusetts Clubhouse Coalition’s State House Annual Employment Celebration on Thursday, April 28. During the celebration, ten Clubhouses across Massachusetts will present an award to a company or organization that has demonstrated a great commitment to hiring Clubhouse members – people who are experiencing mental illness.
Lorraine has been a member of Neponset River House since 2017. After her daughter moved to North Carolina with Lorraine’s three grandchildren, whom Lorraine says “she practically raised,” Lorraine experienced a mental health crisis. She had also recently retired from her job with the insurance department at a medical facility, so life was too quiet. Lorraine says she likes to keep busy. Her Riverside therapist suggested she become a member of Neponset River House for social interaction, and she soon became integral to helping with the Clubhouse’s administrative tasks.
“It made so much sense for us to hire a Clubhouse member,” said Vice President of Quality Management, Monica Garlick. “We were looking for part-time help and realized there is a wonderful pool of talent in our Clubhouse membership. We worked closely with Lorraine and her job coach for the initial training, to make sure it was a good fit, but Lorraine was such a self-starter, she worked independently very quickly. We couldn’t be happier with Lorraine’s attention to detail, performance, and contribution to our team.”
Neponset River House is one of Riverside’s four Clubhouses and one of 36 throughout the Commonwealth. Clubhouses are places that offer people with mental illness opportunities to achieve their full potential through employment and recovery. The Clubhouse Employment Program helps members, whatever their previous work experience, strengthen job readiness skills, acquire long-term employment, regain confidence and motivation needed to succeed, and achieve greater economic independence.
Neponset River House’s employment program certainly helped Lorraine get back on her feet. At the pre-recorded awards ceremony, Lorraine said, “It’s been a struggle for me these last few years, and accepting this job has made me feel so much better about myself and about the world. This just shows that other Clubhouse members can find rewarding employment, make a difference, and feel better about themselves.”