Mental health charity Mosaic Clubhouse says keeping connected is vital for our health – even more so if self-isolating. Physical separation means we have to be creative about how we stay connected and safe
Mosaic Clubhouse is a mental health charity that provides purpose and opportunities for people living in Lambeth writes business manager Nancy Holden.
Every day we come together as a group of members and staff to make our community work, running the clubhouse café and garden, information hub, business and administration and education and employment units side by side, in the firm belief that actively working together in our community builds confidence and skills and promotes recovery.
At the heart of our approach is community, and so much of our strength comes from meeting together each day, to work together in our community.
But, like everyone, we’re having to face the fact that over the coming days, weeks and months, some of our members may have to stay away from our community and there may come a time when the Clubhouse has to close.
As Jo, one of our members says: “We all know that isolation and mental health go together about as well as oil and water. Isolation is devastating to mental health, but can we think about, self-isolation more positively?”
We’ve been thinking more and more about how we can stay connected with those who are at home,and keep up the community that we know is so vital to our mental health and wellbeing. If we do have to close our staff will be keeping in touch with members by phone. Members are used to receiving calls from the Clubhouse, we regularly remind members about events, classes and groups that they’ve signed up to.
Anne is one of our members who loves to do this ‘reach –out’. “it’s not just about informing them, she says, it’s also to ask, are you OK? There are people I call to remind about groups, that I know they don’t regularly attend, but I still call them as I am their only contact, I might be the only person they’ve spoken to that week.”
Jo, who regularly writes for our newsletter, advises that, if you are self-isolating: “Try and keep in touch with your friends and family or contact a helpline for emotional support.
“While we often text each other, do try and take the step, however uncomfortable, and phone, hearing a human voice during this period is very important.”
She adds: “Rumour and speculation can fuel anxiety. Having access to good quality information about the virus can help you feel more in control. Look up reputable websites such as gov.uk.”
Matt, another regular member and all-round tech expert at the Clubhouse says, “Keep busy at home, I’m planning to reconnect with old hobbies, things I used to love doing, this is the time that we have the time! My friend is planning to do all the home improvements he has been meaning to get around to doing for ages.”
Ana-Maria, another member, runs a local gallery and art group and is planning to send out weekly emails to her network with art inspiration and projects, links to online meditation and resources from art galleries. Members of the group can share photos of their art in her emails, what a great idea to keep busy and connected!
As well as keeping in touch with members by phone, the Clubhouse will try to continue some activities virtually, such as encouraging members to write for our newsletter or sharing helpful tips or resources on social media.
Other ideas to keep connected and support our community’s well-being through self- isolation are very welcome!
Mosaic Clubhouse 65 Effra Road, SW2 1BZ
020 792 49657