Research shows that those with mental illness have a 25 year earlier mortality rate and an overwhelming higher rate of obesity, diabetes, heart and lung disease. In response to these sobering statistics the Genesis Club started its Wellness Initiative, "Learning About Healthy Living" (LAHL), in 2008. The success of this program in a Clubhouse/Peer Support Model has resulted in extraordinary outcomes.
Activities within our LAHL program include hourly weekly meetings at Genesis Club that focus on health promotion, nutrition, exercise, reducing stress, and tobacco cessation education.
Exercise: Genesis' exercise component is separated into two parts, structured exercise and independent exercise. Members participate in an exercise group held at the Plourde Recreation Center on the campus of Assumption College. Emphasis is centered on attending three workouts per week, with members having access to an indoor track, weights, racquetball, basketball, pool, cardio (elliptical trainers, bikes, rowing machines, etc.), and co-ed fitness activities (volleyball, dancing, yoga, etc.). Statistical data is collected to help members focus on their wellness goals: heart rate, weight, BMI, blood pressure, and smoking status. Follow-up exercise activities consist of daily walks and the Genesis Club running team, Team Genesis. Team Genesis participates annually in the famous Falmouth Road Race. In addition, throughout the year members and staff participating in local road races as well. These highly competitive groups of walkers and runners have made their mark in Central Massachusetts competing as Team Genesis under the banner “Making Strides for Mental Health”.
Nutrition: When Genesis Club started looking into a wellness program, the first thing we reviewed was our own internal menus and snacks. In response to our new healthy outlook, we have added nutritious options to both our lunch menu and to our cafe offerings. We recently purchased a salad bar, and members and staff are enjoying fresh salad options for lunch. We also offer a wellness dinner each Thursday, which concentrates on exploring healthier ways to cook, while allowing the people enrolled in the wellness program a chance to support each other.
Tobacco Cessation Education: Genesis Club has come to consensus, we will become a 'smoke free' clubhouse as of September 1, 2011. This is following almost 2 years of education through the tobacco cessation component sponsored by the UMass Medical School, Department of Psychiatry assists with ‘Learning Healthy Living, Tobacco and You ‘.
Dual Recovery Anonymous: DRA is an independent, self-help organization. The goal is to help men and women who experience a dual illness achieve dual recovery, prevent relapse, and to carry the message of recovery to others who experience dual disorders. On Thursdays at 6:30, Genesis Club sponsors a DRA meeting at AdCare hospital open to Clubhouse members and to the general public.
Genesis Club, Inc.
274 Lincoln Street
Worcester, MA 01605
Tel. (508) 831-0100
FAX (508) 753-1286
Genesis Club is featured by the Legacy Foundation for our smoking cessation program. We were one of a handful of agencies chosen for publication in "A Hidden Epidemic: Tobacco Use and Mental Illness." Please click here to read the report.