I live alone, having no family. Before I began going to the Rainbow Heights Club I was alone and isolated with nothing interesting to do. I would sleep all night and all day long. But immediately when I began attending the Club, I was surrounded by a caring milieu of staff and other members. There were (and continue to be) support groups, where I have been able to share my true thoughts and feelings in a safe, affirming environment, and learn new coping strategies and new skills along with the other members. Some of the support groups include recovery from addictions, cooking groups, art therapy groups, Lesbian and Gay groups, as well as fun activities, such as karaoke on Friday nights. There are outings to the Botanical Gardens, Brooklyn Museum, Staten Island Ferry and the Gay Pride March held in June.
There is a meal served every single day (Monday through Friday) which we members help to prepare and serve. We commune with one another as we share the meal and our thoughts with one another. The atmosphere is truly loving and cherishing of each one of us in our uniqueness. And this is due to the leadership of the above-mentioned staff and those they hire, who are consistently caring and responsive to our needs.
The results are evident: nearly 90% of us Club members stay out of psychiatric hospital, both in ER visits and in psych admissions. And the Rainbow Heights Club does all this on a shoestring budget of $600,000 per year.
The Rainbow Heights Club has shown leadership in training mental health providers in the cultural competency required to successfully treat LGBT mental health consumers, like us. The Rainbow Heights Club is truly a special agency and has proven to be a model for how other Clubs for LGBT mental health consumers might be established and run.
I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...
I've experienced remission of my depressive symptoms and made new friends, learned new skills, (such as assertiveness) and had an opportunity to be creative, as with the art groups and writing group.
Ways to make it better...
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
Improve funding sources so more staff could be hired, to be with us.
How would you describe the help you got from this organization?
How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?
How do you feel you were treated by this organization?
How did you find this group?
A peer specialist from the Club attended a group I ran at the Gay & Lesbian Center for people with disabilities.
What, if any, change in your life has this group encouraged?
They have encouraged me to trust people more and make more social connections, to learn to put my own needs first (instead of taking care of everybody else, first). I value myself more because I have been cherished.
When was your last experience with this nonprofit?