GENESIS CLUB EXPANDS ACCESS TO VIRTUAL MENTAL HEALTH PROGRAMS

WORCESTER, MA, July 21, 2021— Genesis Club, a nonprofit community organization serving people recovering from serious mental illness in the Worcester region, today announced the official launch of their online community hub, built with support from the Health Foundation of Central MassachusettsActivation Fund. New online community resources include an updated website, updated online giving options, virtual tours, informational videos, live chat for public visitors, and a private virtual workspace for staff and members.

As part of the launch, Genesis Club is hosting a Virtual Clubhouse Celebration on Thursday, July 22nd from 11am-12pm to share how their new online capabilities are meeting the need for mental health services. Genesis Club welcomes members of the community to join the online event here: bit.ly/genesisclubonline

After closing its doors to the public in March of 2020 due to the pandemic lockdowns, Genesis Club quickly moved to remote supports and services for their 550 active clubhouse members. But the pressing need for increased digital literacy and online accessibility required new capabilities for the local organization. Along with online resources, pandemic program developments included increasing access to and training for mobile devices, hybrid and offsite work opportunities, virtual wellness checks, daily house-wide video calls and virtual unit meetings, telehealth support, and online education and employment support.

“Genesis Club is thrilled to be enhancing connections and increasing access to our community through our new online resources. The entire clubhouse has come together over the past nine months to make this possible. Now we can reach out to, connect with, and support people with serious mental illness who do not have access to our physical location,” said Lisa Brennan, Executive Director of Genesis Club. “For many people, quarantine felt so much like the isolation our members fight against so courageously every day. We are grateful to The Health Foundation for helping our community continue their recovery journey through online platforms for gathering, connecting, and working.”

In late May, Genesis Club soft-launched their new online resources for staff and members to test and learn the new platforms before sharing with the general public. In just five weeks of testing, online donations doubled over the total online donations from the previous 12 months. 71% of traffic to the new website are first-time visitors and site visitors are using the live chat function to get information about Genesis Club services.  

Janice B. Yost, President and CEO of The Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts, commented, “For many years, the Genesis Club has been a place where people dealing with mental health issues gather to be with peers and receive supports. The Foundation was pleased to be the lead funder in the development of its website to extend the resources and benefits of the effective Clubhouse model beyond its walls to reach people in their homes. This expansion of services comes at a key time in the recovery from the pandemic.”    

Genesis Club, located at 274 Lincoln St. Worcester, MA, welcomes any person who has been diagnosed with a mental illness. Members work on their recovery in their own way and at their own pace by being part of a community of mutual support, contributing their skills to running the Clubhouse, and working with staff and peer advisors to set goals to help them regain their lives. For more information, visit genesisclub.org

MEDIA CONTACT

Rachel Riani

Development Associate

Genesis Club, Inc.

Office: 508.831.0100

Cell: 774.276.2214 

ABOUT GENESIS CLUB

Genesis Club was founded in Worcester in 1988, replicating the Clubhouse model that was founded in New York City in 1947 by people in recovery from serious mental illness. Genesis Club’s mission is to ensure that members with serious mental illness have access to meaningful employment, healthy lifestyles, safe housing and education. Its proven theory is that members will recover better when part of a community of peers, finding genuine belonging, friendship and purpose. Genesis Club is an accredited Clubhouse through the Clubhouse International and a training facility for clubhouses worldwide.

ABOUT THE HEALTH FOUNDATION OF CENTRAL MASSACHUSETTS

The Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts, Inc. was formally established in January, 1999. The mission of The Health Foundation is to use our resources to improve the health of those who live or work in the Central Massachusetts region, with particular emphasis on vulnerable populations and unmet needs. Since 2000, The Health Foundation has granted over $44 million to organizations in Central Massachusetts through the Activation Fund, Synergy Initiative, and Board Designated grants. The Foundation’s Activation Fund is designed to support discrete one-year projects that stimulate a community organization’s movement to the next level of capacity and effectiveness that can be sustained over time.

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