The last 2 months were rather active at Russia House and the central event was starting a new Clubhouse rehabilitation program in the European North of Russia: in a town of Arkhangelsk that is located near the coast of the White Sea. The local partner of Russia House is a small charity Most (Bridge) that has been running a rehabilitation center for adults with severe mental illness for about 19 years already. Both staff and participants of the rehabilitation program are open to innovations and committed to further development of their rehabilitation center for the benefits of people with mental disabilities in their town Arkhangelsk. That is why when they learned about the Clubhouse program and Russia House they contacted us and asked to help to start them the Clubhouse program at Most. In September a group of 5 people from Russia House (a Clubhouse participant Andrew, a social worker Lisa, 2 members of the Advisory Board Tatiana and Valentina, director of Russia House Tatiana) visited Arkhangelsk. It was a 4-day visit and what we managed to do. First, we held a 1-day conference on the Clubhouse rehabilitation model for local professionals working in the mental health field and presented this approach to them. Second, we had a meeting with families of people with mental health problems who are served at Most. They support the idea to start a Clubhouse and their respond was very touching. Third, we spent 3 days working side by side with Most participants and staff discussing the International Standards for the Clubhouse and showing how they are applied in everyday Clubhouse work. They were very busy days but really rewarding! In November a team of 5 people from Most, including 2 program participants, 2 staff and director, will come to Russia House for introduction training in the Clubhouse program. We hope that it will contribute to their better understanding the program and help Most move towards building a real Clubhouse working in accordance with all the Standards.
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