Crossroads Clubhouse in Cape Breton helps members living with mental illness see themselves ‘in a new light’

Crossroads Clubhouse colleagues Christine, Sylvia, Mike and Colleen
Crossroads Clubhouse colleagues Christine, Sylvia, Mike and Colleen

The Crossroads Clubhouse in Sydney, a mental health and addictions program since May 1994, is part of an international community that redefines what it means to live with mental illness and promotes unique recovery through genuine relationships and a deep commitment to working together.

The Cape Breton location is one of more than 300 such clubhouses around the world. 

“Crossroads makes you see yourself as an individual not as a patient,” a member named Margaret said. 

“The clubhouse makes you see yourself in a new light.”  

On any given day at Crossroads, you will see members and staff “working side-by-side for the greater betterment of the community,” a member named Mike added.

Crossroads is an inclusive, open and intentional community that offers work day, evening and holiday programs such as healthy living and wellness support, as well as both employment and housing assistance.

The organization also provides opportunities for members to find and share their voices, build meaningful relationships and create a sense of hope within themselves and each other.

When members choose to join the clubhouse, they choose a hustle and bustle atmosphere where friendships are created and the message that every person is wanted, needed and valued is emphasized.

“Mental illness is a part of who we are but it does not define us,” founding Crossroads member Sylvia said. “We focus on our abilities; on what we can do.”

In this past year alone, Crossroads has experienced many achievements, including being chosen as the 2018 Social Enterprise of the Year by the Cape Breton Chamber of Commerce, partnering on a national research project on the impact of active membership on people’s lives, hosting the sixth annual Canadian Clubhouse Conference in Sydney and reaching the highest accreditation level through Clubhouse International.

Clubhouse International is dedicated to “ending social and economic isolation for people with mental illness by growing the number and quality of clubhouse rehabilitation programs worldwide,” according to the organization’s website.

Crossroads Clubhouse has attained accreditation on five separate occasions over the past 20 years as it strives to always be the best recovery community it can be for its members.

Are you interested in finding out more?  

Check out Crossroads Clubhouse on Facebook, visit the website at www.crossroadscapebreton.ca or request a clubhouse tour by calling (902) 567-7961.

This week is Mental Illness Awareness Week. To learn more, please visit https://www.camimh.ca/mental-illness-awareness-week/about-miaw.