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State legislators to honor Espirito Santo School, Fall River, for being outstanding corporate citizens

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Photo courtesy of Towne House Clubhouse. Award plaque and Andrew Raposo, principal of Espirito Santo Parochial School

A piece of Fall River is being recognized by Beacon Hill.

Today, 10 companies, including the Espirito Santo School in Fall River, will be honored by the Massachusetts Clubhouse Coalition for being an excellent employer and for choosing to diversify their workforce by employing residents of the Commonwealth who are recovering from a mental health condition. Those employed are residents of the Commonwealth, who participate in employment and recovery centers, which are funded by the Department of Mental Health (DMH). The Espirito Santo School has employed two members of Towne House Clubhouse, located in Fall River, operated by Fellowship Health Resources. The employees work after school hours to make sure the school is cleaned and disinfected, as extra cleaning is particularly important due to the extraordinary times caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a spokesperson, the MCC Employment Celebration, typically held at the Statehouse in Boston, is organized by the Massachusetts Clubhouse Coalition, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping make sure the community is accessible to those with psychiatric disabilities. This year’s award celebration, due to the pandemic, will take place on Zoom. The honored employers were selected for recognition due to their dedication to creating a welcoming and diverse workforce. DMH-funded Clubhouses serve over 5,500 residents of the Commonwealth annually, providing services designed to help “members,” all of whom have a mental health condition, to live successfully in the community. Clubhouses across Massachusetts offer a welcoming, productive place for members to come during the day and assistance in gaining employment, an education, housing, dual recovery, peer and wellness support. Legislators will present the awards. Representative Carole Fiola will present the award to the Espirito Santo School and their principal Andrew Raposo, who serves on Towne House Clubhouse’s Advisory Board.

“Countering the myths about people with psychiatric conditions, there are over 750 companies in Massachusetts who are choosing to look past disability and see ability and opportunity as they employ members of Clubhouses” said Reva Stein, Executive. Director of the MCC.

“One of the key teachings of our Catholic faith is to ‘love one another’ and supporting the Towne House program is one way for us to demonstrate this every day,” according to Andrew Raposo, principal at Espirito Santo Parochial School. “There are so many people who struggle with mental illness who are blessed to participate in the programs offered by Towne House. I have personally gotten to know the TH members who work after hours at our school and realize that the act of working is part of the recovery process. They are grateful for the opportunity to work and contribute in a positive way to our school.”

“We are pleased that the new MA Department of Mental Health commissioner Brooke Doyle will join us to help us recognize our honored employers. Having a job, not only brings in a much-needed paycheck, but serves to inspire and encourage people, recovering from often challenging conditions, that they too can achieve their dreams and goals.” Ms. Stein continued.

“We are proud that the “ICCD Clubhouse” model has been recognized by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration as an evidenced-based practice” said Aaron Labonte, Director of Towne House Clubhouse, Fall River.

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