At the beginning of October, we went to see the Mosaic Clubhouse to talk to members of staff about the organisation’s impact. Based in Brixton, the charity helps young people and adults affected by mental ill health to have a better quality of life by increasing their engagement and participation in the wider community. Mosaic follows the internationally recognised Clubhouse model of rehabilitation where staff and members work together to run the Clubhouse. The charity acknowledges the strengths, talents and abilities of every member and encourages working side-by-side with staff to deliver clubhouse activities, offer support to fellow members and work towards the common goal of improving the mental health of its members and developing skills and interests.
As an internationally accredited Clubhouse the organisation offers a non-judgemental and welcoming environment for members – a space where individuals are accepted, understood and valued and where being part of a community provides a sense of belonging and meaning.
At our meeting, we were able to speak to some of the members. Sonia*, a 22-year old student, had only joined the Mosaic Clubhouse shortly before our interview upon a recommendation from a friend, but she was already convinced of its importance in providing a judgement-free zone and ability to connect individuals.
Dealing with severe mental health difficulties, the 22-year old felt lost and without someone to confide in. Social services offered little support and her family largely neglected her illness. ”A lot of people don’t understand. They make up their own assumptions”, she said. “Everyday, you have to prove that you’re okay.”
Asking her how she liked the Clubhouse, Sonia replied: ”I love it here. My overall outlook on life has changed. The Mosaic Clubhouse is like a community, like a family. You have people around you who care for you and around whom you can be who you are and won’t be criticised for it. It‘s somewhere to come when you need to get away.”
Although she had only joined the Mosaic Clubhouse days earlier, Sonia mentioned that she was already much more positive about the future and had already become friends with other members.
But Sonia’s story is not unique. Since its foundation in 1994, the Mosaic Clubhouse has helped hundreds of individuals in London to lead happier, healthier lives and to feel part of a community.
* Name and age changed