• Brandy O'Brien

Lighthouse introduces YouTube channel to increase membership

Updated: Jul 10

“Lighthouse is the place to be!” just ask, or rather watch, Ms. Hayes, a clubhouse member who recently participated in an on-camera interview titled “Lighthouse is the place to be!” for the clubhouse’s new YouTube channel.


From left: Toni Bator, Lighthouse program director, and Ms. Hayes, who has been interviewed for the new YouTube channel, pose at the clubhouse.

Ms. Hayes, as she’s affectionately known at Lighthouse in Springfield, Massachusetts, is one of several members who spoke on camera in an effort to increase exposure and membership to the clubhouse. Lighthouse is one of VIABILITY’s six clubhouses located throughout Massachusetts. The mission of the program is to support individuals living with the effects of mental illness. Clubhouse staff and peers work together in pursuits to find and attain employment, permanent housing, education, and feel comfortable in social situations. Clubhouses are accredited by Clubhouse International and CARF International.


“Lighthouse has been around since 1985. It’s a hidden gem,” said Toni Bator, clubhouse program director, who added the clubhouse is not a place to just hang out. Members have goals and work collaboratively with staff to achieve them. “We prepare lunch, help people get jobs, and grocery shop.”


Ms. Hayes agreed.


“Lighthouse and its people have an atmosphere of warmth,” she said.


The Lighthouse episodes are recorded by occupational therapy students from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. To date, the Lighthouse channel has a commercial and eight member interviews that allow the individuals to talk about why they come to the clubhouse and why they think others should see it.


“It’s a well-knit community where everyone is friends and no one is left out,” said Nick, a member who has his own video and will also soon start a Transitional Employment (TE) position working at a local bank in Springfield.


To see Lighthouse videos or subscribe to the channel, go to http://bit.ly/2NExwuy.


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