Expanding Horizons: Stepping Stone Clubhouse Opens in Chermside

Stepping Stone Clubhouse Chermside
Photo Credit: Stepping Stone Clubhouse

Stepping Stone Clubhouse has opened a new clubhouse in Chermside, servicing locals within the suburbs of North Brisbane, including Wavell Heights and Geebung.

Stepping Stone Clubhouse was founded in 1994, born out of a pressing need for comprehensive mental health support services in Brisbane. Its establishment was driven by the philosophy of the Clubhouse model, which emphasises the value of a supportive community environment for individuals recovering from mental illness.

For over a decade, the dream of having a Clubhouse in the northside has been nurtured by Stepping Stone, and this dream has finally come true in 2024. 

Members of the Stepping Stone Clubhouse hail from the entire Brisbane region and adjacent catchments. A substantial 29 per cent of Stepping Stone’s membership resides in the northern suburbs, with only one-fifth of them attending the current Clubhouse located in Coorparoo for more than 10 hours in the last calendar year. 

Local Resources

Distance has been a major barrier for Northside members, hindering consistent participation. This new venture aims to bridge this gap and provide support to individuals living with mental illness in the Northside communities.

Finding the Perfect Spot

A meticulous analysis was conducted by a business consultant to determine the ideal location for the new Clubhouse. The assessment took into account existing services in the north and identified crucial gaps that needed addressing. 

Additionally, proximity to public transport and employment opportunities was a key consideration. Chermside emerged as the chosen location, owing to its vibrant atmosphere and potential for collaboration with local businesses and services.

Stepping Stone Clubhouse Chermside
Photo Credit: Stepping Stone Clubhouse

Overcoming Challenges

Securing recurring funding posed the most significant challenge in establishing the northside clubhouse. However, earlier this year, Stepping Stone received promising news as Queensland Health committed funding to kickstart this transformative initiative.

The new Clubhouse promises to foster a sense of community, belonging, and fulfilment for individuals grappling with mental health concerns. Operating in a non-clinical, psychosocial environment, it aims to facilitate members’ journey towards rebuilding their lives. 

This approach not only enhances the well-being of members but also reduces reliance on clinical support services, including hospitalization. As members regain confidence, reintegrate into the workforce, and actively engage with the local community, the benefits ripple outwards, positively impacting families and the broader community.

Programs and Progress

Similar programs to those offered at the existing Clubhouse, such as the Work Ordered Day and the Healthy Active Lifestyle Program (HALP), will be available at the new facility. 

The Work Ordered Day program focuses on collaborative efforts between members and staff to manage daily tasks and share meals. HALP will initially offer lunchtime options like walks, meditation sessions, and swimming, gradually expanding to include evening and weekend activities. Social recreation programs will also be emphasized, recognizing the importance of community engagement in fostering friendships and a sense of connection.

Membership at Stepping Stone has been instrumental in transforming lives across various domains, including health, social interactions, employment, and education. The supportive and non-judgmental community provided by the Clubhouse empowers individuals to achieve their goals and integrate into their local communities with newfound confidence and skills.

Published 9-Feb-2024