Member Services & Supports
While at the clubhouse and in their own time, members receive support to return to work, stabilize their housing, go back to school to pursue a degree, and build new social connections. Here, people are recognized for their strengths and contributions, rather than defined by their diagnosis.
How members utilize the Clubhouse is entirely up to them. Some members simply need relief from the grips of isolation. Others join ready to start the process of returning to work. Wherever you are in your journey and wherever you have come from, Genesis Club welcomes you!
Learn about our specific services and supports below.
“Being part of Genesis Club’s Education program provided me with the support and mentoring I needed to get through my undergraduate work. My goal is to be a research psychologist As a first-generation immigrant, this success means a great deal to me and my family.” – Agnes, Genesis Club Member since 2018
Fifty percent of all serious mental illnesses emerge by the mid-teen years, and 75% emerge by the age of 24. As a result, students are having to manage challenging mental health symptoms for the first time while also adjusting to an unfamiliar college environment, sudden independence, challenging course loads, and a higher level of pressure and academic expectations. In the face of these challenges, drop-out rates are much higher for young adults living with a mental illness.
At Genesis Club we help members manage their mental health issues while achieving their academic goals. The support we provide is career-focused because we know that a diagnosis of a serious mental illness does not need to be a barrier to a successful career.
Whether you are exploring career interests, studying for your HiSET exam, enrolling in a vocational program, enrolling in college or earning a job certification, Genesis Club can help.
- Completing applications and selecting courses
- Finding ways to pay for tuition, including applying for federal aid, grants, and scholarships
- Accessing accommodations available for people with disabilities
- Building social supports, time management skills, and study habits
- Ongoing wellness checks tailored to the member’s needs through phone calls, texts, social media, video chats, and/or on-campus visits
- Recognizing and Celebrating milestones
- Academic and professional networking
- Searching and applying for jobs and internships in your field of interest
Eighty-two percent of people living with a serious mental illness are unemployed. Our goal is to empower members to develop and regain the ability to participate successfully in meaningful, paid employment and to move out of poverty. Last year more than two-hundred members obtained and retained full- or part-time jobs and earned $1.8 million in wages.
At Genesis Club, employment is not just an option but a right of membership.. Holding a job and earning a living are important ways people engage with others in society – ways that are vital to their recovery from mental illness. In our Employment Services program we seek out, secure and provide job opportunities that help members transition back into the world of competitive employment, with individual support and at their own pace.
Genesis Club assists members with various levels of support along the way.
Transitional Employment (TE)
Genesis Club has partnerships with top area employers – including UMass Medical Center, AdCare Hospital, Chartwells Hospitality, and the Worcester Art Museum – that provide competitive jobs and pay market wages. We provide on-site training, support, and absentee coverage during the 6 to 9 month placement. This is the most intensive level of support and is helpful for members entering the workforce for the first time, or re-entering the workforce after an extended absence due to their mental illness. Jobs in the Transitional Employment program are part time, typically six to nine months long, and allow members to retain Public Assistance Benefits such as SSI, SSDI, and SNAP while they are working.
We maintain a close, supportive relationship with members seeking supported employment. Typical supports include job training, resolving barriers to sustained employment (e.g., transportation issues), resume updating, interview coaching, and career planning.
At this level Genesis Club provides individualized supports tailored to the member’s needs. Members secure their own jobs but may want career coaching or guidance in negotiating advancement or a workplace conflict.
Networking and Mentoring
Genesis Club hosts regular networking events, free of charge for anyone interested in entering the workforce or already working, so that members have the opportunity to learn skills and techniques for re-entering the workforce from employment counselors and each other.
The Work-Ordered Day
In this signature clubhouse intervention, where members work alongside staff to operate the Clubhouse. . This experience helps members rediscover their self-confidence, practice the skills, rhythm and structure that parallel a typical work week, and acclimate to traditional workplace interactions, teamwork and performance expectations.
Research shows that people diagnosed with a mental illness have a 25 year earlier mortality rate and higher rates of co-occurring medical conditions than their peers without a mental illness. Obesity, diabetes and heart disease are very real challenges. So we have embedded wellness into every aspect of the clubhouse.
We know that being employed, completing one’s education, managing fulfilling relationships and living in stable housing – what is referred to as the Social Determinants of Health – are essential to good health and recovery. In addition to these, Genesis Club offers opportunities for staff and members to eat healthier, exercise, reduce or quit smoking, engage in substance abuse and addiction recovery and find good quality psychiatrists, therapists and primary care physicians to support their overall health.
Wellness activities at Genesis Club include:
- Noon-Thirty wellness walks
- Group exercise in partnership with the YMCA
- Weekly pedometer challenge
- Nutrition focused meal planning and preparation
- Community gardening
- Daily salad bar
- Weekly Dual Recovery Anonymous meetings in partnership with Adcare Hospital
- Smoking reduction/cessation resources and support
- Clinical provider listings and support to connect
Genesis Club’s goal is to support all our members in being good neighbors and tenants as they live in their community, no matter what type of housing they have. We are dedicated to removing the stigma that people with mental illness are not good neighbors or tenants. We offer our members the support they need to reach the quality of life they desire.
Genesis Club has been dedicated to helping our members find and maintain affordable housing, in an area of their choice, since our inception in 1988. We continually have some members who are homeless or in need of better quality housing. We have continued to respond to this need by looking for creative ways to help our members find decent homes they can afford. In response to our members currently experiencing homelessness, we partner with local organizations to provide intensive housing supports.
Our members live in many types of housing, including houses, condos, Dept of Mental Health funded housing, local housing authority units, supervised apartments, and group homes. Our goal is to help them find living situations that support their needs and freedom of choice.
If you have an immediate housing need, unfortunately Genesis Club is not an emergency housing program. As a Genesis Club Member we would be happy to refer you to emergency housing options in the community.
Young Adults Programs
“When I’m at Genesis, I feel like I’m contributing to something important, like I have a purpose.“
Young Adults (ages 18 to 25) are an integral part of Genesis Club and have the choice to participate in every aspect of the Clubhouse. They bring an excitement and energy to the community and make meaningful contributions that genuinely enhance our Clubhouse community.
Unlike older members who may have spent extended periods of their young adulthood in psychiatric hospitals, young adults with mental health conditions today benefit from advances in psychiatric treatments and medications. Young adults often come to Genesis Club ready to start working on their goals and we offer the support they need to succeed. Our program for young adults focus on:
- Employment: Applying for jobs, writing a resume and cover letter, connecting with employers
- Education: Getting into or finishing college, getting funding for school, and accessing accommodations
- Housing: Finding their own place, joining a group home, getting roommates
- Social Connections: Making friendships and connections through social events
- Transportation: Getting a license, navigating public transportation
The Young Adult Committee, made up of staff and young adult members, meets weekly to discuss how best to reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness, and how to support other young adults living with mental health conditions.
Chris P., age 20, shares some details about coming to Genesis Club.
Q. What brought you to Genesis Club?
Chris. My depression and psychosis impacted me a lot, especially high school. To make things even more difficult, I was diagnosed with Kleine-Levin Syndrome, That’s a disorder that makes you want to sleep all the time. I would sleep for really long periods of time, so I’d miss a ton of school. I’d get behind in my homework, so my grades weren’t great. I felt bad and wouldn’t eat, then lose weight and spiral into depression. My family stood by me and helped me all along the way, and I’m grateful for that. But they were frustrated and pushed me to come to Genesis Club.
Q. How has coming to Genesis Club helped you?
Chris. Genesis has helped me a lot. I really like the people I’ve met and the friendships I’ve made here. People help me, but I get to help other people too. I do a bunch of things here. Sometimes I work in the kitchen and help prepare lunch. I help organize the Young Adult meetings, visit other young adults on campus, and I help plan social events. I’m learning to do research on the computer. I like outreaching members who have a hard time coming into the clubhouse. The skills I’m learning will help me in the future, even if I don’t know exactly what my future looks like yet.
Q. What does your future look like?
Chris. Things are going a lot better for me now. I’m on medication that has stopped my psychotic episodes. And, I just got my driver’s permit. My next goal is to get my license so I can help my grandparents with errands and go places that I can’t go to now. Maybe have some fun! So, I’m kind of waiting for the future to show itself. I’m just taking it slow and steady.
Older Adults Program
Research has linked social isolation and loneliness to higher risks for a variety of physical and mental conditions: high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, a weakened immune system, anxiety, depression, cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s disease, and even death (National Institute on Aging). The Older Adult Program at Genesis Club aims to reduce social isolation and improve the overall quality of life and health of adults who are over 55 and living with a serious mental illness.
There is an emphasis on helping older adults build their confidence and skills when using technology.These skills are so important for staying connected when faced with physical illness, addressing limited mobility, overcoming transportation barriers, and remaining socially connected. Tech savvy members and staff work to ensure that everyone who wants can access their telehealth appointments, conference into Clubhouse meetings, and video chat with their loved ones.
The Older Adult program also offers opportunities to build friendships at regularly held social events, explore work or volunteer opportunities, and participate in educational discussions and forums important to seniors.