AUSTIN, Texas – Last summer, the Austin Clubhouse community organization struggled to provide the mental health support its clients needed.
Since an executive order from Governor Greg Abbott barred them from asking for proof of vaccination, the team says it has felt compelled to close its doors.
But now the doors of Austin Clubhouse are open again.
Austin Clubhouse is a safe space for Johnson Street. Johnson has been a member for quite a while now.
“A really great place without judgment and a way to socialize without being triggered,” Johnson explained.
Austin Clubhouse’s mission is to empower and support adults who have been diagnosed with mental health issues. But this summer, the organization struggled to provide all the help its clients needed, attributing that to Governor Abbott’s aforementioned executive order.
They were working outside the building while Travis County was at the highest level of its guidelines based on COVID-19 risk.
“It made me sad,” Johnson said. “It made me feel lost because now what am I going to do about socializing? It increased my anxiety, I mean boundaries that I haven’t had in a few years.”
Executive Director Sharon Lowe says her team is happy to be back, providing members with a space to thrive.
“It’s a community place where you can explore your strengths rather than feeling like you’re defined in any way by a mental health diagnosis,” Lowe said.
Members like Johnson couldn’t be more grateful.
“I have the opportunity to be able to present myself and be in a place where I feel good,” said Johnson.
The organization is once again open just in time to host its WANA Live Party, an evening to celebrate the community while raising awareness for mental health recovery and well-being.
The event will raise funds for the Austin Clubhouse and will take place on December 9 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. You can contact Austin Clubhouse for more information.