Mental illness doesn’t stop on Mondays and that’s why Arrowhead is asking the public for support to keep their clubhouse open every weekday.
Currently the clubhouse for people with mental illness is only open Tuesday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“We’ve recognized that the numbers here are in excess of 90 that we serve and we need to expand the services from four days a week to five. We need to create the awareness so we can hopefully get public support and additional funding to meet that need,” said Arrowhead Centre Society board member Cam Reid.
“So we’re trying to elevate the awareness of Arrowhead and the needs of the people that Arrowhead serves.”
Having Sept. 24 to 29 proclaimed as Arrowhead Week in the District of Sechelt helped shine a small spotlight on the situation. Arrowhead members planned a celebration to thank past donors on Sept. 24 and invited the public to tour their clubhouse on Sept. 26.
There people got an inside look at the Arrowhead space, which boasts a large commercial kitchen, a dining area, computer room, TV and games room and laundry area.
Members of the clubhouse must have a persistent and provable mental illness to join and the space provides an escape from judgments so readily offered outside its walls.
The clubhouse also provides programming to help teach members basic life skills like cooking, cleaning and gardening.
Arrowhead’s mission is to “support our members who suffer with a serious chronic mental illness, on their journey to recovery by creating opportunities through the use of our centre facility, support programs, our housing initiative and our ability to build a bridge with a wider community.”
The Arrowhead clubhouse is located at 5554 Inlet Ave. beside a row of Olympic legacy housing that was erected to provide eight citizens suffering mental health issues a home.
The clubhouse receives $100,000 a year though B.C. Housing to run their facility, but the expanded hours and a new centre manager needed to make it happen will cost them another $100,000 a year.
That’s money Arrowhead is seeking from the public this year through a fundraising campaign that saw brochures and donation cards delivered to homes this week.
Board members are confident the public will see the need and open their pocket books but they don’t expect the community to make up that $100,000 shortfall every year.
“Here’s where we really want to go,” said board chair Brian Smith. “We want to be able to show that we have local support and we have had very good strong support in the past but there isn’t enough money going to come that way. We need more secure funding and the primary objective we have is to get our local health board on side with us. Right now we get no funding from them.”
If you want to help this year and show your support for the Coast’s only clubhouse for people with mental health issues, you can mail a donation to P.O. Box 676, Sechelt, B.C. V0N 3A0 or donate on-line at www.arrowhead-clubhouse.org.