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Mental heath nonprofit Clubhouse Atlanta raising funds for career and wellness programming – MDJOnline.com

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Updated: June 4, 2022 @ 2:28 pm
Susie Kyle speaks about her son, Bo, who died due to mental health issues, while her friend and co-president Bill McClung squeezes her shoulder for support at Clubhouse Atlanta May 19, 2022. 
To jumpstart the fundraising campaign, the nonprofit held a ‘FriendRAISER’ at its Atlanta headquarters St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church in Dunwoody May 19, 2022. 
Clubhouse Atlanta executive director Freddy Morella speaks to guests at the ‘FriendRAISER’ luncheon at Clubhouse Atlanta May 19, 2022. 
Clubhouse member Marissa Paredes speaks about how Clubhouse Atlanta has helped her thrive at the ‘FriendRAISER’ luncheon at Clubhouse Atlanta May 19, 2022. 
St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church’s Fr. Dick Game gives the invocation at the ‘FriendRAISER’ luncheon at Clubhouse Atlanta May 19, 2022. 
Chief of Staff Fred Hoffman, representing Fulton County Commissioner Bob Ellis, speaks to guests at the ‘FriendRAISER’ luncheon at Clubhouse Atlanta May 19, 2022. 
Georgia Senator Sally Harrell speaks at the ‘FriendRAISER’ luncheon at Clubhouse Atlanta May 19, 2022. 

Susie Kyle speaks about her son, Bo, who died due to mental health issues, while her friend and co-president Bill McClung squeezes her shoulder for support at Clubhouse Atlanta May 19, 2022. 
To jumpstart the fundraising campaign, the nonprofit held a ‘FriendRAISER’ at its Atlanta headquarters St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church in Dunwoody May 19, 2022. 
Clubhouse Atlanta executive director Freddy Morella speaks to guests at the ‘FriendRAISER’ luncheon at Clubhouse Atlanta May 19, 2022. 
Clubhouse member Marissa Paredes speaks about how Clubhouse Atlanta has helped her thrive at the ‘FriendRAISER’ luncheon at Clubhouse Atlanta May 19, 2022. 
St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church’s Fr. Dick Game gives the invocation at the ‘FriendRAISER’ luncheon at Clubhouse Atlanta May 19, 2022. 
Chief of Staff Fred Hoffman, representing Fulton County Commissioner Bob Ellis, speaks to guests at the ‘FriendRAISER’ luncheon at Clubhouse Atlanta May 19, 2022. 
Georgia Senator Sally Harrell speaks at the ‘FriendRAISER’ luncheon at Clubhouse Atlanta May 19, 2022. 
Mental health nonprofit Clubhouse Atlanta is raising money for its career development, wellness and socialization programming. 
The campaign runs now through June 4th as part of Clubhouse International Day of Giving, which is celebrated June 1. To jumpstart the fundraising campaign, the nonprofit held a ‘FriendRAISER’ at its Atlanta headquarters St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church in Dunwoody May 19. Chief of Staff Fred Hoffman, representing Fulton County Commissioner Bob Ellis, Georgia State Senator Sally Harrell and Clubhouse International COO Jack Yatsko spoke about the good Clubhouse does. 
Clubhouse is an intentional community that assists individuals living with a mental illness reach their potential as contributing members of their communities. As a member of Clubhouse International, which supports over 300 Clubhouses worldwide, Clubhouse Atlanta provides support to individuals in the metro Atlanta area by assisting them with their employment, education, housing and social goals.
Since its doors opened in October of 2020, Clubhouse Atlanta has served more than 35 individuals from Dekalb, Fulton, Gwinnett, Cobb, Clayton and Rockdale counties.
Clubhouse Atlanta co-presidents Bill McClung and Susie Kyle have both lost a child from a mental health related death. McClung lost his daughter Katie around eight years ago and Kyle lost her son, Bo, October 2020. 
“We have been truly blessed,” Kyle said. “Clubhouse Atlanta is dear to my heart. I feel that I have been called the service and and dedicated to doing all and acting as a committed steward to make sure that all adults living with a mental illness can walk in the door and receive the love, acceptance, support and attention they need to thrive, to have a purposeful and fulfilling life they deserve.”
“I regret that my son Bo is not here today to be part of this clubhouse Atlanta community,” Kyle said. “I know Bill, having lost his daughter Katie in 2012, wishes that she too, could’ve been a member of Clubhouse Atlanta.”
According to Clubhouse Atlanta executive director Freddy Morello, studies have shown that members of Clubhouse are less likely to be hospitalized or incarcerated. Membership to a Clubhouse is absolutely free, lifting any financial barriers from those who may need the help but lack funds. 
Clubhouse Atlanta member Marissa Paredes also spoke about how the nonprofit has helped her live again. Paredes was the first member of Clubhouse Atlanta and said she had been living with a mental illness for many years. Before joining Clubhouse Atlanta, Paredes bounced from program to program, could not maintain a job and had trouble managing her emotions. 
“Clubhouse Atlanta is a place where you can come and be yourself,” Paredes said. “You can work on yourself and support the caring staff and lifeline and peers. It has also allowed me to progress to work and learn how to be better in social settings with a supportive clubhouse. I was able to not only find a job but have been able to successfully maintain my employment for a period of nine months.”
So far, Clubhouse Atlanta has raised $4,000 through their ‘FriendRASIER’ but are still accepting donations online. For more information about Clubhouse Atlanta, visit www.clubhouseatlanta.org.
If you or a loved one is struggling with suicidal thoughts, the National Suicide Prevention Hotline is available 24/7 at 800-273-8255. 

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