Your Letters: Closing the Community Clubhouse Comes at a High Price

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Dear Editor,

Our community needs to recognize a VERY serious issue that is just beginning to unfold – Marathon County’s decision to no longer fund the NCHC Community Corner Clubhouse. If all goes according to the recommendations made, the Community Corner Clubhouse will close as of October 2022.

In the midst of a NATIONALLY recognized mental health crisis cited by state and national health groups, it is both confusing and extremely concerning that we as a community sit uncombatably to continue a service that is absolutely vital for adult life. with chronic mental health issues.

As someone whose first professional role was as a social worker in the community, I learned firsthand what it means to have a safe and supportive space that offers connection, supports to consider and manage employment, and other rehabilitation activities for people suffering from depression. , bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and other chronic mental health conditions.

One of the most SIGNIFICANT findings in mental health research today as to why we have a national mental health crisis is due to a sense of isolation that has been greatly exacerbated during COVID quarantines. . We are still working our way out of the ripple effects on our whole sanity that this has created, and you only have to call a counseling clinic to find out that we don’t have enough capacity to help anyone who needs it right now.

So why, aware of these things, would our community allow one of the MAIN (and sometimes ONLY) supports for those most deeply affected by mental health issues to find themselves adrift without a lifeline and a vital support system. I think as a community we need to be more aware of this decision which will have devastating effects for us. Without this careful thought about this decision and problem solving about how we will continue this vital service, we will be certain to “make headlines” with all that comes with a broken down mental health system.

If our community thinks the Community Clubhouse is priced too high (which is really a drop in the bucket in our county’s budget), let’s see what that looks like when we need to beef up our crisis services, inpatient budgets psychiatry, managing a growing homeless population and worse.

Those of us who have provided mental health services already know what this undersupport looks like – allow us to offer our knowledge, our experience, coupled with mental research to support the continuity of support services with a proven experience.

We need to do better with this, and I know there will be a louder voice in the weeks to come demanding that our county reconsider what it is offering.

Thanks,

Noreen Salzman MSW LCSW

Co-Director/Owner – The Center for Well-Being, Inc

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