Embracing Connection and Community for Mental Health: Introducing Our Community Support Program (CSP) Member Center

Jul 24, 2023

In the journey toward mental health and self-sufficiency, the role of recreation, community, and connection with others cannot be underestimated. Recognizing the importance of these factors, Guild’s Community Support Program (CSP) Member Center offers a safe haven for individuals living with mental illness to access a range of supportive services.

A Sanctuary of Recreation and Growth

At the CSP Member Center, a diverse array of activities and programs are tailored to support mental health and encourage personal growth. Clients engage in activities like taking art classes. Pursuing art  can be a powerful outlet for self-expression and emotional healing. Art classes provided by the CSP Member Center offer individuals a chance to tap into their creativity, foster a sense of accomplishment, and express the feelings and experiences that come with mental health challenges.

Skill Development

Through classes aimed at improving resumes and enhancing practical skills, the CSP Member Center equips individuals with the tools needed to regain stability and self-sufficiency. These opportunities foster confidence, enhance employability, and promote a sense of purpose.

Fitness Groups

Physical activity has been proven to have significant benefits for mental health. Fitness groups organized by the CSP Member Center encourage individuals to engage in regular exercise, releasing endorphins that boost mood, reduce stress, and improve overall well-being.

Embracing Community and Connection

Many of us could benefit from enhancing our social skills, but for those living with serious mental illness, opportunities to socialize can be life-saving by ending isolation. The CSP Member Center offers a welcoming space where individuals can connect with others who understand their journey. By fostering a sense of belonging and camaraderie, the center acts as a powerful antidote to loneliness.

One of our CSP members, Patrice, explained the value of having a face-to-face connection in a digital world by saying, “People are getting a lot more depression because they’re not connected with each other anymore. And by the way, social media doesn’t connect. You need face-to-face.” 

The CSP Member Center provides a supportive environment where people can practice and refine their social skills. Engaging in group activities and informal classes helps build confidence, develop healthy relationships, and enhance communication.

The CSP Member Center also facilitates connections with peers who share similar experiences. This creates an opportunity for individuals to create friendships with people who understand their challenges and support one another. Additionally, the center’s staff members are available to provide guidance and assistance in overcoming challenges related to daily living, fostering resilience and problem-solving abilities.

CSP is also a place where people talk openly about tips for dealing with their mental health challenges and encourage one another. When asked for her favorite tip, Jackie answered, “Speak up. Don’t hold it in. If there’s something that’s wrong ask for help. Say something.”

Welcoming Dakota County Residents

The CSP Member Center welcomes individuals living with mental illness in Dakota County, ensuring that support and resources are accessible to all. The center’s commitment to inclusivity and open-door policies allows individuals to schedule their first visit and subsequently drop in whenever needed, creating an environment of flexibility and convenience.

Among the constellation of services, Guild offers our clients, from Intensive Residential Services to programs like Behavioral Health Home, where clients get help navigating complex social systems; our CSP provides a community-center environment where people with mental illness can spend their days among friends, supportive staff and volunteers, doing therapeutic activities that spark joy and community

CSP Art Show & Open House

Support the artists of Guild’s CSP by attending the CSP Art Show & Open House! More info here.