Community Spotlight: HansonHouse TBI Clubhouse
HansonHouse TBI Clubhouse, a group of persons who support one another in living independent, productive lives following a brain injury, is conveniently located in Berea. This is the first and only Brain Injury Clubhouse in Ohio. With more than 282,000 traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) occurring each year, we are lucky to have the HansonHouse a mere 20 minutes from our office.
HansonHouse (HH) Berea is modeled after the International Clubhouse Standards for TBI survivors. The organization currently has around 120 members, and has 20 to 30 members in its support groups that have a peer to peer approach. These support groups, offered on Wednesdays and Thursdays, create a community for survivors and family members to speak freely about weaknesses, accomplishments and brainstorm workarounds.
Paul Richards, Program Director and a leader of the Wednesday support group, explains that he loves the immediacy of the results he sees with members. He gets to work in real time and face-to-face with them. They don’t have a singular plan, because each injury affects everyone differently, but they are able to adjust plans quickly. Richards also speaks highly of the staff members and their dedication to HansonHouse, commenting how much he loves “working with the staff because there is such a spirit of collaboration and unity!”
HansonHouse Beneficial Services and Programs
The TBI Clubhouse offers services and programs (free of charge) to help survivors of TBIs gain lifelong skills. Current programs include:
- Learning household skills
- Making life decisions
- Providing instruction on current informational technology
- Assisting with the relearning of social and service skills
- Working towards independent self-advocacy; and
- Finding internship placement.
HH works hard to ensure members participate in meaningful activities. Survivors are active in their community by assisting civic groups and non-profits with projects. “I am also very happy when a member ‘gets their fire back,’ and decides on their own that they now have the confidence to plug into an area of service or personal interest with others who are not HansonHouse members,” Richards says. “We have several members now in leadership positions within groups in the community that HH has no real affiliation with.”
HansonHouse offers these programs and services for as long as they are needed for survivors, which greatly benefits their daily lives. The organization helps adults with TBIs move forward in their lives. Additionally, HH helps members switch their focus from “what I can no longer do,” to “what I can do.”
“The greatest impact from my perspective is helping restore personal courage to get out in the world,” says Richards. “We can wear failure as a badge of attempting and learning; this gets them into the community, and frankly, the community gains strength by seeing their real life efforts.”