Summit County Clubhouse reveals facility tours, a social media campaign and fundraiser for Mental Health Awareness Month
Events include facility tours and a social-media campaign
Amber Mackay is grateful for the groundwork the Connect Summit County has laid in terms of Mental Health Awareness Month in Summit County.
“I know Mental Health Awareness Month is huge in our nation, but Connect Summit County really brings it to the forefront every year in our community,” said Mackay, executive director of Summit County Clubhouse, a mental health advocacy nonprofit. “And we’re happy to partner with them.”
The partnership includes promoting the clubhouse’s free, pre-renovation tours that will run from 2-3 p.m. every Wednesday at 6304 Highland Drive.
“We’re calling them ‘hard hat’ house tours, because we are about to embark on renovations, and we want people to see what the place is like before we do it,” Mackay said.
Registration isn’t required for the tours of the 2,400-square-foot home, she said.
“People can just drop by,” Mackay said. “We invite you to come see our space and meet our incredible members, staff and board members. We really want the public to get to know us.”
The tours will follow COVID-19 protocols, according to Mackay.
“People can wear their own masks, but we’ll also have some at the door, as well as hand sanitizer,” she said. “Our tour guides will be ready, and everyone will get a grab bag when they leave.”
Renovations will start in the summer, and Mackay hopes everything will be finished by August.
“We are going to knock down some walls and turn the house into office headquarters,” she said.
Renovations will also extend to the 1 ½-acre yard.
“We are working with people who want to help us turn the yard into a sustainable community garden,” Mackay said. “Our plan is for our members to learn gardening and harvesting and how to use the produce in our lunches.”
Mackay hopes to open some of the garden plots to the public.
“I want this to be a community center where anyone can stop and garden, harvest tomatoes and have lunch with us,” she said. “We want people to feel comfortable to drop in.”
In addition to the tours, Summit County Clubhouse has kicked off a social media campaign to celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month.
“We are one of five clubhouses in Utah that make up the Clubhouse Utah Coalition, and we all are celebrating the successes of our members who faced adversity and opposition through the pandemic,” Mackay said. “Everyone is still trying to come out of COVID-19, and we have some wonderful success stories.”
Each clubhouse — Summit County, Provo, Salt Lake City, Layton and Tooele — will submit members’ stories that will also include how clubhouses have helped them, Makay said.
Clubhouse International is a network of more than 300 clubhouses in 30 countries around the world that advocate for adults with mental illnesses through friendship, employment, education and access to medical and counseling services, according to its mission statement.
The stories, which will total 31 throughout the month, will be posted on the coalition’s Facebook page, facebook.com/utahclubhousecoalition, as well as the Summit County Clubhouse page, facebook.com/SummitCountyClubhouse.
Mackay, who is chairwoman of the coalition, came up with the idea.
“I thought clubhouses around the world are what we call a ‘best-kept secret,’ and that’s not a good thing,” she said. “We don’t want to be a secret. We want people to know about us like they know about the YMCA, so I thought it would be great for the five clubhouses to come together and create a social-media campaign to share success stories of resiliency. People can recover from mental illnesses, and we want to show that.”
The social-media campaign will also serve as a fundraiser for Summit County Clubhouse, Mackay said.
“We’re hoping our stories will inspire people to donate, and the Park City Board of Realtors has given us a $10,000 matching grant, so anyone that donates will be matched dollar for dollar up to $10,000 in the month of May,” she said. “We are so thankful for them for doing this, and helping us stay focused on the critical work of supporting any adult with a history of mental illness in our community.”
That critical work is expanding its reach to the Latino community, Mackay said.
“We are interviewing for a bilingual staff member who can help us find individuals who would benefit from our services,” she said. “We are also trying to create a more diverse board of directors. So if anyone would like to apply, they can contact us. We would like to see more candidates.”
Summit County Clubhouse has been up and running for nearly two years, and Mackay said the organization is using this year’s Mental Health Awareness Month to let the community know it’s still continuing its mission as an advocate for those with mental illness.
“We have the ability to let the community know that we’re still here, even with the coronavirus pandemic, and that is a really big thing for us,” she said. “Our theme this month is ‘strength through adversity,’ and it’s directly related to everything we’ve been through this past year and the fact that we’re still strong, still standing and progressing.”
When: 2-3 p.m. every Wednesday
Where: Summit County Clubhouse, 6304 Highland Drive
The tower at the Olympic Welcome Plaza was recently outfitted with a new design.
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