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Pandemic inspires deeper mental wellbeing connection

9th July 2020

Ben's story

COVID-19 'Inspires' deeper connection at Townsville Clubhouse

While the full, collective mental health impact of COVID-19 is yet to be felt or understood, selectability’s Inspire Clubhouse has been able to turn the pandemic into a positive wellbeing experience for its members.

Run by leading regional Queensland mental wellbeing and suicide prevention organisation selectability and funded by the State Government, the Inspire Clubhouse offers members a range of recovery-oriented activities and a chance to reconnect with their community in a non-clinical environment.

During the height of the pandemic social distancing restrictions meant the Clubhouse doors had to shut but according to Team Leader Kimberley Robinson, it also opened new ones.

“The closure meant we had to pause our group activities but presented us an opportunity to adapt and provide individual support to our members, focusing on activities they loved,” she said.

“From arts and craft, to music lessons and games, our staff (life coaches) worked hard under challenging circumstances to stay connected with those who depend upon our clubhouse for mental wellbeing support.”

The individual support, while temporary, has been the silver lining in what could otherwise have been a very distressing time.

Ben Keith, a Clubhouse member for almost eight years, said the support helped him through the stress of isolation due to COVID-19.

“I admit that I was worried when I heard the Clubhouse was going to close due to the pandemic because it’s such an important part of my life and my recovery,” he said.

“But being able to have the one-on-one support made it easier to deal with such a challenging time.”

Ms Robinson said it was not only members who had benefited.

“The staff are all reporting how providing the individual support gave them the chance to engage with and understand our members on a deeper level. This has led to stronger relationships between life coaches and members, which can only help their recoveries.”

With COVID-19 restrictions now easing, Inspire Clubhouse is back open for group activities, in line with the current health and safety regulations. Its programs are open to adults with a lived experience in mental illness and Clubhouse activities are voluntary, providing members with choice and control over their own mental health journeys.

“During the closure we were able to give the Clubhouse a freshen up. It was a huge task that we carried out between support shifts. But I’m really proud of how the team came together and got it done,” Ms Robinson said.

“If you’re experiencing mental or emotional hardship as a result of COVID-19 please get in touch. New faces are always welcome.”

Members with an NDIS package are expected to contribute to the financial costs of running the clubhouse.


Inspire Clubhouse membership options

We have a number of membership packages designed to provide you with flexibility and align to your goals.

Each provides you with access to activities, resources and wellbeing supports that offer social inclusion and self-development.

How do I access the Clubhouse?

We have developed a range of membership options to provide flexibility and align to your individual needs.
You can read about these on the next page.

Why do I need a membership?

The way that the Clubhouse receives funding has changed. So that we can continue running the service, we need to
charge a membership fee.

What if I don't have an NDIS plan?

If you don't have an NDIS plan we can offer you a 12-month membership that allows you to access the Clubhouse for five hours a week.

During this time we will work with you to test your eligibility for the NDIS.

View membership options


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