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The Fairweather Lodge Model

Volunteer Training for the Iowa City Fairweather Lodge
by

Anna Brett

on 25 June 2013

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Transcript of The Fairweather Lodge Model

The Fairweather Lodge Model Shelter House's Fairweather Lodge Iowa City, IA The Fairweather Lodge is... An intentional community for people in recovery from serious mental illness. In the words of our Lodge members... "It helps people start over again." "It gives you knowledge of a trade and a work reference. There are a lot of challenges in my job." "I got some of my pride back." "It is my recovery journey." Employment Housing Peer Support Lodge members rely first and foremost on each other. Lodge members live together in a single family home in a residential neighborhood. The Fairweather Lodge serves formerly homeless adults with serious mental illness by combining affordable housing, supported employment, positive peer relationships, and access to mental health care. Employment is an integral part of the Lodge. We believe that maintaining steady employment is vital to the mental health recovery process. We provide supported employment, which includes transportation to and from the work sites, and supervisors with training or background in mental health. Lodge members typically work 15 -- 25 hours each week, and are paid a living wage. Lodge members run a household together, and typically share meals or spend free time together. There are no live-in staff at the Lodges. Mental Health Support Lodge members self-administer their medications together, and identify and respond to changes in a peer's symptoms. Everyday Living Support The Lodge members help each other out when it comes to getting their needs met. This may include anything from exchanging skills, giving advice on bus routes, carpooling, borrowing tools, or just being a friend. Principle I The Lodge must provide a safe, healthy and caring environment, which reinforces the recovery process. Practice A Lodges should be located in a safe and accepting neighborhood. Practice B Lodges should be attentive to exercise and nutrition. Practice C Lodges should control the use of drugs and alcohol. Principle II The Lodge must be part of the plan for managing symptoms and promoting good mental health. Practice D Practice E Good quality psychiatric care (implying a doctor-patient partnership) should be available. Lodges should have a standard mechanism for ensuring medication compliance. Principle III Services must be available as long as the participant wants and needs them. Practice F There should not be any minimum or maximum time limits on participation. Principle IV People with psychiatric disabilities increase their community success and raise their social status through employment, through accumulating wealth, and through direct (not third-party) consumerism. Practice G Everyone of working age should be employed and employment should begin immediately upon entry into the Lodge. Practice H Employment should be structured so as to ensure financial reward for increasing participation in employment. Practice I Employment may be offered in the form of a (affirmative) business operated by the Lodge. If employment through an affirmative business is provided: 1. Work opportunities should include a range of tasks from simple to complex, with appropriate accommodations for the illness; 2. Participants should be paid commensurate with their contribution to the business; 3. There should be frequent and realistic evaluation of performance and opportunity to advance; 4. Participants should have a choice between working in the affirmative business and outside employment, especially if the affirmative business does not provide opportunities commensurate with the participants skills and experience (but not working should not be an option, and neither should prolonged job search). Principle V Above and beyond economic roles, participants need to perceive (and to have) meaningful social roles in both the Lodge and the larger community. Practice J Every participant should contribute to the collective good to the limit of his/her ability. (Equity of contribution and autonomy from one participant to the next is of secondary importance.) Principle VI In order to progress, people with psychiatric disabilities need autonomy commesurate with their behavioral performance, with the ultimate goal of full autonomy. Similarly, the Lodge needs autonomy commensurate with its behavioral performance, with total autonomy being the ultimate goal. (Peer support is ultimately more powerful than assistance from paid service providers.) Successful Lodges resemble a healthy family. Practice K Participants should share at least one meal a day. Practice L Participants should share at least one social/recreational event a week. Principle VII Practice M The Lodge participants, through some form of collective decision-making, should be responsible (to the extent that skills are present) for all aspects of Lodge management including but not limited to finance, maintenance, meal planning and preparation, social life, transportation, rules related to interaction between members and symptom management including the taking of medications. Professionals serve as advisers to the Lodge, never managers. Practice N If the skills required for certain tasks are not available within the membership, the advisers should provide these skills temporarily. Training should be provided so as to help one or more participants to acquire these skills and advance individual and group autonomy. Practice O Lodges typically need assistance and feedback on how they are doing; this need should decrease over time, but may never disappear. It is advisable, especially during the training phase, to have a special communication system which facilitates this assistance and feedback while simultaneously promoting autonomous group decision-making. Principle VIII Lodges must not be dependent on resources from any single entity. Practice P Lodges and Lodge Programs require strong leadership, committed to all 8 principles and focused on long-term success. History of the Fairweather Lodge Model In the mid 1950s, a new movement known as "de-institutionalization" began to reduce the population of mentally ill patients from state hospitals in attempt to save money on hospitalization costs. The program evolved and accelerated through the 1960s without adequate funding or planning. Many mentally ill people left the hospital but returned a short time later due to inabilities to adapt to community life. In 1963, Dr. George W. Fairweather and a group of social psychologists developed an alternative approach to hospitalization for people with schizophrenia. Dr. Fairweather and his associates discovered that with training and support, small groups could successfully share the responsibility of making every day decisions. The groups could live and work in the community with a higher level of mental health stability at a lower cost to the public. This model for success became known as the Fairweather Lodge Model. The model consisted of a basic set of principles to follow in order to create a self-governing group. The Training Program When a new Lodge member enters the program, he or she must first go through the Lodge training program to ensure success as a Lodge member. This is a day rehabilitative program that strengthens basic living skills, mental health management, and the ability to live in a cooperative group. The trainee also begins working as a crew member with Fresh Starts on their first day. During the training period, trainees sleep at Shelter House and attend training at the Ashley Lodge during the day. After demonstrating their ability to be a successful Lodge member and graduating from the training program, trainees move into one of two Lodges: The Amhurst Lodge The Ashley Lodge The training program is temporarily run out of the Ashley Lodge, until we acquire a third home. The Lodge members continue to support each other’s illness management and recovery, run a household together, and maintain employment with Fresh Starts or an outside agency--for as long as they wish to call the Lodge home! Who becomes a Lodge Member? People with chronic mental illness who are willing and able to work and live cooperatively with others. A good Lodge member is able to give and receive support from peers. What the Lodge is NOT: Case Management Services The Lodge is primarily concerned with creating a cohesive group that can support each other, and through this group developing an individual's ability to be independent from staffed social services. Individual case management services are available through the STAR Case Management program at Shelter House. Adult Day Care The Lodge program is not "babysitting". We are not just giving them a place to spend their time--they are expected to maintain standards of self-care, competitive employment, and to support each other's mental well-being. An Institution The Lodge is not like an institution because it is... Voluntary It is not possible to be involuntarily committed to the Lodge. Participants may choose to apply, exit, and reapply to the program at any time. Limited Provider/Patient Relationship Staff's role is not to provide care, but to train them how to care for themselves, and facilitate an environment where that is possible. Lodge members work together at our janitorial business, Fresh Starts. There are 3 main concepts of the Fairweather model... How does Shelter House's Lodge program operate? Thanks to the website of Tasks Unlimited for this information.
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