FORT MYERS, Fla. -- One in five people in the U.S. experience mental health illness each year according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
In Lee County there are more than 80 thousand people living with a serious mental health illness and about 70 thousand of those are unemployed.
“That is one of our target populations, because we have a fabulous employment program that has proven time and time again to get individuals with mental illness back to work and it provides not only for our members, but our community at large,” said Carey Ralston, Director of Outreach and Development, Hope Clubhouse.
Hope clubhouse has provided help for 625 people since 2007. Right now there are more than 130 active members with about 30 members on site in Fort Myers every day.
“We provide access to paid employment, education, housing and wellness,” said Ralston
Members of Hope Clubhouse have what's classified as serious mental disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar, and chronic depression. Hope clubhouse caters to the needs of each individual knowing support for mental illness varies.
It’s a safe place where a community is formed to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness.
“There’s hope, there’s always hope and no matter what you’ll be amazed at what your child’s capabilities are and they will get actualized at the clubhouse,” said Rebecca Park, Volunteer, Hope Clubhouse.
Hope Clubhouse is hosting its annual fundraiser Monday, October 28th to educate the community about the services the organization provides. For more information on Hope Clubhouse: http://www.hopeclubhouse.org/