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Celebrating Meaningful Life Achievements

Penn Foundation recently celebrated more than 80 Wellspring Clubhouse members for their employment, educational, and volunteer pursuits. While these may be typical activities for most people, they can be remarkable accomplishments for those living with mental illness.

 “Most people associate their identity with a social role – employee, student, volunteer. For people living with mental illness, finding this identity can be challenging,” explains Jill Horan, Director of Wellspring Clubhouse. “In addition to the typical hurdles that people face when job searching, working, or applying to or attending school, those with mental illness also struggle with the symptoms of their illness and the ups-and-downs that come with them.”

Penn Foundation offers programs that prepare individuals to work on their chosen goals, guide them through the process of achieving those goals, and support them in maintaining their successes. “People living with mental illness want to identify as something bigger than their illness,” says Horan. “The intrinsic value of work and school increases for these individuals because they can identify as a ‘worker’ or ‘student’ rather than a ‘patient’ or someone who is ‘mentally ill.’ The attachment to a valued social role provides self-worth, confidence, and purpose.”



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