Members working in the Administration Unit are responsible for the administration of the Clubhouse. Duties include: coordinating the education programs, arranging wellness activities, running the Outreach Project, managing the membership database, compiling all statistics for evaluation, coordinating intake activities, answering the busy Clubhouse telephone, coordinating Clubhouse tours and conducting day-to-day clerical functions such as accounting and data entry.
The Multimedia Unit
Members working in the Multi-Media Unit publish information about UP House in creative and captivating ways. Through this unit members also: publicize information about mental illness; showcase their artistic skills; and lend their technical expertise to UP House’s PR and fundraising efforts.
This unit makes the greater community of Montreal aware of UP House as a resource and provides members and supporters with the what, when and where of UP House happenings.
If you are interested in learning or contributing your skills in: digital photography; videography; interviewing; writing; editing; translation (French<->English); website development and design; social media; graphic design; or simply sharing your creative ideas; come join UP House and check out its Multi-Media Unit!
The Radio-Up Project, Website and Social Media Project, Inspirational Imaging (Photography) Workshop and the “UP to the Minute” Newsletter and “The Journal” Newsletter Projects, are all components of the Multi-Media Unit.
The Culinary Unit
Members in the culinary unit prepare delicious and nutritious lunches and refreshments for UP House. They share the responsibilities of: meal planning; shopping; helping to cook and bake; maintaining the kitchen; managing the snack bar; and cash tallying.
Cooking for the UP House membership is both work and a wonderfully creative, fun team experience.
Have a penchant for the culinary arts? Come join UP House and help out in its Culinary Unit.
The Computer Refurbishing Project
In UP House’s Computer Refurbishing Project members refurbish computers under the guidance, training and technical expertise of a staff member. This is a charitable project that offers affordable computer equipment to disadvantaged persons living in Montreal.
Members are proud of it: providing over 200 disadvantaged persons with quality computers with new Microsoft Software installed; becoming a Microsoft Registered Refurbisher; and recycling hundreds of unusable computers responsibly.
Once a member, come join us Mondays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Wednesdays from 1 to 4 p.m., get your hands inside a computer, learn a ton and enjoy the teamwork, challenges and accomplishments of this project.
Please check UP House’s calendar for schedule changes or cancellations.
For information on how to donate a used computer or purchase a refurbished one, please visit UP House’s computer refurbishing website.
The Garden Project
Gardening is a great way to get outside, get in touch with nature and experience its rhythms. It can be a relaxing and calming activity.
Every season members plant a variety of herbs and flowers and care for the garden’s plants. Plans are in the works for a vegetable garden! Our director, Ruth, brings a wealth of gardening experience to UP House and offers guidance to members who work on this project.
Once a member, if you want to contribute to this project and learn about gardening, or if you already have a green thumb and want to lend your experience to this project, please speak to Ruth.
The Education Unit
The education unit offers members:
- Tutoring in basic computer skills;
- Member-to-member tutoring in a variety of subjects*;
- A French-English conversation group to practice spoken French and English (please see The French-English Conversation Workshop);
- French and English language-learning software;
- A typing improvement program (software), also used by members to practice sustained focus; and
- One-on-one meetings with a staff member proficient in helping members find and access educational opportunities that match their interests.
* When a member requests tutoring on a particular subject, staff surveys the membership to find a member capable of tutoring it.
The Board & Members’ Newsletters Projects
The Outreach Project
Members working on the Outreach Project call members who have not been seen at UP House for a while to ensure they are healthy and not isolated; invite them to upcoming events; and remind them that UP House is there for them.
Members learn communication and clerical skills as they reach out to absent members, keep track of who they called and update contact information. Outreach is an important project to UP House as many members have known the hardship of being isolated and unsupported. ✓
Members learn communication and clerical skills as they reach out to absent members, keep track of who they called and update contact information.
Outreach is an important project to UP House as many members have known the hardship of being isolated and unsupported.
The Radio UP Project
Radio UP is UP House’s online podcast station. Members publish informative and engaging podcasts that reveal personal journeys with mental illness — challenges encountered, challenges overcome and finding the hope and meaning to meet the challenges that remain. Radio UP gives a public voice to people living with mental illness helping to demystify it, correct false beliefs and reduce stigma.
Members also publish purely artistic and entertaining podcasts on Radio UP.
Once a month members working on Radio UP hold a roundtable discussion, record it and later edit it into a podcast episode. A roundtable discussion involves members selecting an engaging topic and sharing their views on it. They are not only interesting but a great way for members to get to know each other better.
Come join UP House and check out Radio UP if you are interested in: expressing yourself; contributing your skills; or learning new skills in interviewing, moderating discussions, computer audio editing and project management.
The Radio UP team meets every Thursday from 1:30 to 2:00 p.m. to record or plan future episodes. Please check UP House’s calendar for schedule changes or cancellations.
The Au Contraire Film Festival on Mental Illness
Up House is a key partner with Urban Pardes and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in the organization and running of the annual Au Contraire Film Festival on Mental Illness (ACFF).
Helping the Museum of Fine Arts and Urban Pardes prepare for and run this spectacular event is an exciting and busy time for members and staff.
There is a myriad of ways members help with the ACFF including:
- Contributing their computer skills to update the Festival’s website, manage movie files and sponsors’ digital media;
- Preparing the Festival’s program for print and distribution;
- Promoting the Festival on Facebook and Twitter;
- Putting up posters and distributing flyers around the city;
- Interviewing directors, actors and producers at the Festival for Radio UP; and
- Volunteering as site managers, photographers and ushers.
Members who contribute to or volunteer at the ACFF are also its guests, invited to attend all its showings and social events when not tending to its organizational needs.
Once a member, if you are interested in helping out with this amazing Festival, please talk to Ruth, Aaron, Nobuko or Marty to discuss how you can contribute to or volunteer at the ACFF.
The French-English Conversation Workshop
This workshop gives members an opportunity to improve their French or English comprehension and conversational skills.
Danielle, a proficiently bilingual and kind member, initiated and instructs this workshop. Participating members spend half the time conversing in French and the other half conversing in English.
Once a member, if you want to improve your French or English comprehension and speaking skills come join this studious yet enjoyably social group.
The French-English Conversation Workshop runs every Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Please check UP House’s calendar for schedule changes or cancellations.
The Maintenance Unit
Members working in this unit take care of the physical environment of UP House keeping it neat, efficient and inviting. This involves: cleaning; taking care of the indoor plants; small repairs; recycling; arranging wall displays; and decorating for celebrations. It also involves outdoor work such as shovelling snow off the front walkway, raking leaves and keeping the front yard tidy.
The Websites and Social Media Project
Publishing content on a website or Facebook is both fun and easier than ever these days.
Members working on the websites and social media project optimize, update and post new content on UP House’s and Urban Parde’s (UP House’s parent charity) websites and Facebook pages.
This project chose WordPress, a user-friendly platform, for its websites in order to make it as easy as possible for members to learn how to add new content to them and manage them. Facebook is likewise user-friendly to operate.
Once a member, please talk to Marty if you have a foundation of computer experience and are interested in contributing to this project. If you are quite experienced with web design, development or using social media platforms, there are always opportunities to share your skills with UP House and Urban Pardes.
The Inspirational Imaging (Photography) Workshop
In this workshop members use photography to capture and appreciate the artistry in their visual surrounding. Different areas of Montreal are explored to spark creative photographic ideas.
A long-standing UP House volunteer facilitates this workshop teaching members the artistry of and technical skills needed for digital photography: how to operate a digital camera, upload images to a computer and edit them to obtain the desired effect.
Print and digital displays are made from members’ finalized images so they can exhibit them, describe what inspired their photos and their creative process.
Once a member, check out the Inspirational Imaging Workshop if you are interested in photography as an artistic medium.
The Library Project
The Library Project is a members’ initiative that collects used books and DVDs to loan to members. The amount of acclaimed books and popular DVDs that it gathers is amazing!
Members working on this project: advertise for donations; maintain a system for keeping its inventory trackable; and ensure that unpopular items are recycled or delivered to a thrift store to free up shelf space for new items.
The Chance to Dance Workshop
In 2016 and 2017 she led UP House members in choreographed flash-mob dances at the Walk for Mental Illness in downtown Montreal. The crowd loved it and in both years UP House got all of Philip’s Square dancing. See the video of it (top left).
Please check UP House’s full calendar for schedule changes or cancellations.
The Chair Yoga Workshop
Join Suzanne, a most friendly UP House member and our resident fitness pro, for 30 minutes of chair yoga.
She’ll guide you through gentle stretching and focused breathing techniques while teaching you about Yoga as a physical, mental, and spiritual practice. As well, Suzanne will tailor your individual practice, instructing you in modified techniques, to ensure it is both safe and comfortable for you.
Yoga is known to reduce stress and is great for the body as well!
Practices are held every Tuesday from 2:30 – 3:00 p.m. Please check UP House’s calendar for schedule changes or cancellations.
The Knitting and Crocheting Workshop
In this social and relaxing workshop members knit and crochet beautiful hats, gloves, scarves and headbands (ear warmers). The bulk of what it makes is donated to the Welcome Hall Mission to help Montrealers in need.
Experienced members teach the beginners basic knitting and crocheting stitches and inspire them with creative ideas for colourful wears.
During this worksop members wind down, chitchat, listen to music and immerse themselves in an artistic process — while making items helpful to others.
The Knitting and Crocheting Workshop runs every Thursday from 2:30 to 4:00 p.m.
Please check UP House’s calendar for schedule changes or cancellations.
The Tai Chi Workshop
Tai Chi is a centuries old Chinese martial art that involves slow, rhythmic, meditative movements designed to help people find peace and calm. The ultimate purpose of Tai Chi is to cultivate the “qi” or life energy within us to flow smoothly and powerfully throughout the body.
Come join Kim, a most friendly volunteer and certified Tai Chi instructor, every Monday from 3:00 to 3:30 p.m. for her superb Tai Chi class. Please check UP House’s full calendar for schedule changes or cancellations.
Tai has been shown to improve balance control, fitness and flexibility.1 It appears to be associated with improvements in psychological well-being — reducing stress and anxiety.2 As well, it is safe for most people to practice as it is a gentle slow workout easy on the muscles and joints. ✓
1. Nordqvist, J. (2016, September 6). “What are the Health Benefits of Tai Chi?” Medical News Today. Retrieved from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/265507.php.
2. Wang WC, Zhang AL, Rasmussen B, et al. The effect of Tai Chi on psychosocial well-being: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Journal of acupuncture and meridian studies. 2009;2(3):171–181.