A place to socialize

In my little town we have a place open every day where mentally ill people can socalize. I visit there sometimes. It is nice to talk with real people. Do you have any similar places?


Every monday 5-7 PM we meet and eat dinner togeather snd talk about anything.

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Here in China there are no places for strangers to gather and talk. Everybody is confined to the circle of his/her family and friends. I remember in Australia there are women’s programs in local town for women to gather and socialize. China sucks when it comes to community activities. In fact, it has no local community at all.

We used to have DSG (Depression Support Group), a mentor, and some refreshment, within a premise, on monthly basis. But then the response was not good, the DSG discontinued, and the organizer hold the meeting on the Internet, through a forum like this.

We have a drop-in center in my town. I don’t go though as I can’t stand the drama. It is full of drama, infighting, cliques, and very petty people. Also, there is a large number of young people who bring their friends, all of whom may or may not actually be mentally ill. Drug use is rampant. It’s a shame really.

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@mjseu That sounds great. I’m really glad you have a place like that. It sounds like you live in a pretty progressive area of the world. To be honest I don’t know if there is a place like that around here.

I live in an assisted living center for the mentally ill, so I can socialize with other mentally ill people all the time. It’s a pretty good solution for people who are mentally ill.

Not to intrude in your business, but how did you get into assisted living? I’ve been thinking about it for myself, but had some questions. Like does your insurance cover it? Or how do you pay for it? How do you like it?

I would appreciate any info you feel free to provide.



This is very interesting to me. what kind of assistance do they provide to you the resident? What’s the difference between the assisted living center in general and the nursing home? I will be back to Australia for my elderly age and will probably seek a nursing home when I am really old. But I have no idea what an assisted living center is and what a nursing home is.

We used to have a place where you could drop in as and when you felt the need. They even did a cooked lunch for a small fee. It went when they restructured to a time limited set up. Those of us who were socially isolated with chronic and enduring problems lost out. Now the only places are for weekly meet ups. One is church based and mainly for the non mentally ill elderly and the other is 40 minute bus ride away in an area i don’t know. Neither are suitable.

Social isolation is a major problem for many of us. Unfortunately in the UK daily drop ins are being systematically closed down as they don’t fit in with the mental health chiefs vision of things.
I used to get out more when i had a drop in near by to get to. As it stands some fortnights the only thing i might go out for is my depot injection.


I pay for my assisted living out of my SSI check and medicare and medicaid for the medical treatment. I would shop around for an assisted living center you like, because the quality of these places varies. Most of them are out in the country, though there are some in the city. One assisted living center I stayed at very briefly went to town once a month. The one I live in now goes to town once a week. Where I am at is definitely not luxury living, but I think it has enough comforts and amenities. Your feelings about this will depend on your personal expectations. One thing - if you don’t like where you’re at you don’t have to stay there. They can only keep you there if you are court committed.


Thanks so much for the information! I’m going to look into this for myself. I’m just worried about the cost of it.

Right now, I pay just under $600 in rent per month. I’m hoping assisted living is more affordable. Plus, I’d like to have my medical services integrated and maybe save some money there too.

Thanks again!


They provide you with meals, shelter, and medications. Also, these places have activities. You go to a day center for about six hours a day in the place I live. The people here are much younger than nursing home residents, and the atmosphere doesn’t seem as subdued and hospital like. Many of the people who come here are just passing through, and they stay only a few months. Some stay a few years and then move on. Then, a small population, myself included, has been here for well over a decade. The pace of life is slow, and little is expected of you, other than going to day treatment, taking medications, and doing basic cleaning.

My town has a drop in center and some sort of “consumer” advocacy center though I’ve never checked out either as I just moved back here after a good while away. It is soon to have a clubhouse model program that I will be involved in starting. Clubhouse is like a drop in center where most of the work of running the place is done by the members with a very small staff. They help with finding employment, setting people up with services in the community, housing and going back to school, any goals really.

I’ve heard there are even a few in China ; )

Wow, this assisted living center sounds great! Do you have a room of your own in this assisted living center? And they provide you with internet connection?

My town does have a day hospital and a few drop in centers. I would go to the day hospital more. It had more structure and vocational training. The drop in center felt more like hanging around. I’m too hyper to sit and hang out.

I haven’t gone in over two years though… I do still go to my Sz support group. They meet once a week, but not everyone goes once a week. I go every other week usually.

Interesting how many ideas come to me by just visiting this site for a half hour.

I do actually think that there is a meeting place in my city for people with issues.

Having overcome my own, as well a professional mendicant, it probably would not hurt to offer some of my time to them each week.


I have had a lot of luck meeting nice people at community centers. There are classes in art, computer, book clubs, cooking classes, all sorts of stuff.

It’s a casual thing and it’s consistent so there is a way to build up to that “ask out to coffee” sort of thing.

I also go to the library and see what groups meet there too. Their book clubs or other little classes are free or have a tiny fee to cove the cost of the room rental.

The one where I live refused membership to a guy with Cerebal Palsy. Told him he should be sorting clothing at Goodwill.

In the regular program most people have one roommate, though there is one room with five people sleeping in it. In the “independent living” program most people have a roommate, though for a considerable period of time I have been the only person in my room. They have internet connections in the clubhouse where we go to day treatment, and we average about an hour a day of access to that, some days more, some days less. I pay for my own personal internet connection out of the weekly allowance for daily living they give us in the independent living program. I get fifty a week to buy groceries and pay for other necessities. I also get $143.00 a month in food stamps. They provide one pack of cigarettes a day to the people who smoke, and if you don’t smoke they give you the money they would have spent on your cigarettes - $50.00. The great majority of people are in the regular program, not the independent living program. Out of about forty people, only five are in the independent living program now, though that could change. Some of the people in the independent living program get as much as $70.00 a week for groceries and necessities, but I’m sure they get a lot less in food stamps. I would check very carefully into any assisted living center you might get in. I don’t know if other assisted living centers have internet connections in their clubhouses. The quality of these places varies. Though the place I am in is one of the better assisted living centers, it does have its drawbacks. The toilets in the building for the regular people are often fouled. Some of the residents are scatalogical. Also, the food can be a little plain. At the residential center they often gave us this paste that was supposed to be gravy, but it was really just flour and water, and a biscuit for breakfast. We got a choice between a glass of milk or a cup of coffee. On other days we might get eggs, or something in between, like cold cereal. Then, at the clubhouse we can get a pop tart and a glass of milk, and coffee until it runs out. Usually you can get two or three cups of coffee. Because I am in the independent living center I eat much better than at the residential center. At just about every meal at the residential center you can get seconds. They often fix us a very good lunch or supper - indian tacos, pork steak, or meat loaf, etc. Assisted living centers are not luxury living, but life does have its pleasures. For a while, every Saturday they would take us to Westville, a town about six miles away, and buy us a chocolate shake. That was kind of a comforting ritual. A lot of that kind of thing depends on the people who work at the residential center. If one of the aids wants to take an initiative like that they’ll usually let her.

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