Webster Clubhouse members Dennis Barclay and Delilah Nesmith were both honored at the 2017 Jonathan Schiff Memorial Award Ceremony on May 30 at Boston University School of Medicine’s Hiebert Lounge. The Jonathan Schiff Awards were created by the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health (DMH) in 2002 to recognize the value of employment as part of the recovery process.
Dennis received the Metro Boston Area-wide Award, after being nominated three times previously. He has been awarded “Employee of the Month” at the grocery store where he works countless times and is consistently commended by Vinfen staff for using employment as the primary tool in his recovery. “Work has helped me get out of my comfort zone,” he said as he accepted his award.
Delilah received the Massachusetts Mental Health Center Schiff Award. Once unemployed and living in a group home, Delilah now lives independently and has been employed at Wegmans for over a year with the support of Clubhouse Counselor Anita Barnes. In that time, Delilah has received three raises.
Awards were presented by DMH Metro Boston Area Director Patricia Kenny and DMH Metro Boston Director of Rehabilitation Brian Osborne. DMH Metro Boston Director of Recovery and Human Rights Officer Bob Rousseau also spoke at the event, acknowledging nominees and introducing the keynote speaker, Jacqueline Martinez. Once homeless, Jacqueline is now employed supporting her peers with psychiatric conditions and addiction. “Work is a road to recovery,” she said in her moving recovery story.
The ceremony, presented in conjunction with the Metro Boston Area of the Massachusetts DMH and the Jonathan Schiff Events Committee, is supported with thanks by Charles Schiff, the Schiff family and friends, the Boston University Department of Psychiatry, the Friends of Metro Boston, Vinfen, and Bay Cove Human Services.