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Young Adults Experience
Start date: 01 Aug 2016, End date: 30 Apr 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Context and background of the project: Finnish Clubhouse Suvimäen Klubitalo had the final idea of an exchange when they participated in European Star training, and gathered a group of young adults to plan and discuss what this project would be. Young adults thought it would be fun to co operate with another European Clubhouse and reach out to other Clubhouses. Gibralta's Clubhouse responded positively and together the young adults of the Clubhouses started planning this project. We wanted to organize a project which enables our Clubhouses' young adults, who are all recovering from mental illness to get international experience and build a relationship between our Clubhouses. We hope to prevent social exclusion by arranging inspirational project which engages young adults who otherwise might not find services or social circles that benefits them. Objectives of the project:The main objectives of this project is build self-esteem in a foreign environment with the help of other young people who have experienced similar mental health problems, establish encouragement and hope for the future by sharing experiences of mental health support and recovery, learn social skills and independence in a safe, welcoming environment, discover a brand new culture and develop awareness of differences and similarities in experiences and support alienated young adults, who otherwise wouldn't have access to this kind of opportunity, in comparison to other young adults with no mental health difficulties.Profile of participants: Both Clubhouse's young adults are all recovering from mental illness, some severe, some mild, but for all Clubhouse is one part of the support network. Mental illness causes many challenges regarding social skills, self esteem, courage to try new things, coping with daily routines, etc. Our participants don't have many other social contacts or groups to do things together and to have this kind of experience. Some of the members have some educational background or vocational experience, but some have no education beyond basic schooling nor work history of any kind.Description of activities: The exchange from Finland to Gibraltar will take place over 8 days, from September 4th to 12th. Our goal is to work together and build our self-esteem and social skills with activities young members want to get involved in. Taking part in the exchange will be 10 people from the Finnish Clubhouse and 10 from the Gibralta's Clubhouse. Both groups contains members and staff. The activities we have planned include group exercises and discussions, mutual new experiences, getting to see Gibralta's nature and cultural sights, teaching each other about the culture of each Clubhouse, workshops and writing articles about the project and some.Methodology, results and potential long term benefits: We hope to develop our young adults' confidence, self-esteem, independence and improve their social skills/team working skills. We also hope to learn how young people in another country cope and manage their mental health, within a different healthcare system and culture. We hope to learn about each other's organization and get tips for making our young adults program better. We want all clubhouses to reach out for young adults as well as older members and offer them opportunities they need. We hope to give encouragement for individuals who havent find beneficial services in society yet. International experience will probably teach both a lot about working together and it gives us a first experience of organizing Erasmus+ projects adn in projects like this in future.We would like to raise local and international awareness on the impact of mental illness in young adults. We would like to promote learning and development for this group of individuals needing support, at a local level by fliers we will make in our workshops. During this project, we will be gathering evidence to present at the next Clubhouse European Conference in 2018, on the growing needs of young adults with mental illness. We are also writing blog during the project and with it we are trying to get our message out there for other Clubhouses and organizations to see. We hope that Clubhouses follows our examble to make efford to reach out for young adults and serve them. In Finland we are going to tell about this project at least in Finnish Clubhouse seminar which are hold every spring. There all 25 Finnish Clubhouse can hear about this project.
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