North Atlanta Clubhouse

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If you would like to receive announcements/newsletters from the GA Clubhouse Coalition on the status of a new North Atlanta Clubhouse, or just have questions, send an email to GeorgiaClubhouse@gmail.com.
What is a Clubhouse?
A ‘Clubhouse’ is a restorative environment for people who have had their lives drastically disrupted and need the support of others who believe that recovery from mental illness is possible.  It is a community intentionally organized to support individuals living with the effects of mental illness. Through participation in a Clubhouse people are given the opportunities to rejoin the world of friendships, family, important work, employment, education and to access the services and supports they may need as an individual, in a safe, ‘stigma-free‘ environment.
A Clubhouse is much more than a program or a social service – it is most importantly a community of people who are working together toward a common goal.
A Clubhouse provides the space and support structure which an individual requires to recover, perhaps come to terms with their illness, make sense of their world, and build up their self confidence.   Membership in a Clubhouse community gives a person living with the effects of mental illness the opportunity to share in creating successes for the community.  At the same time, he or she is getting the necessary help and support to achieve individual success and satisfaction.
Components of a Clubhouse
All Clubhouse programs and activities are operated by the members and staff working together, taking advantage of the talents and skills of the members.  The activities provide work for the members and services to the members.  The activities to be provided are:
  1. Work-Ordered Day – The Clubhouse is designed to provide the opportunity to work for all the members organized around a work-ordered day. The work ordered day is an eight-hour period, Monday through Friday, during which members and staff work together as colleagues to carry out the tasks involved in running the Clubhouse according to their individual interests.
  2. Employment Programs – As a right to membership Clubhouses provide members with opportunities to return to paid employment in integrated work settings through Transitional Employment, Supported Employment and, Independent Employment programs. This includes a lot of on the job and offsite support from Clubhouse staff and other members.  *Clubhouse International (www.clubhouse-intl.org)       
  1. Housing – The Clubhouse helps members to access appropriate quality housing either through Government or private programs.
  2. Social and Recreational Program – The Clubhouse organizes structured and non-structured social activities for the members. These activities are always scheduled outside the work day.  On evenings and weekends, the members and staff have the opportunity to get to know each other outside the pressures of the Clubhouse work day.
  3. Educational Opportunities – The Clubhouse assists members to complete education that has been disrupted or to start certificate and degree programs at academic or adult education programs. The Clubhouse may also take advantage of the talents and skill of staff and members to provide in-house educational opportunities.
  4. Community Support – Members are given support in acquiring and keeping affordable housing, good mental health and general medical services, government disability benefits, and any other services they may need.
  5. Reach-out – Part of the daily work of the Clubhouse involves keeping track of members. When a member does not attend the Clubhouse, a “reachout” telephone call or visit is mad to let the member know that he or she is missed.
  6. Decision Making and Governance – Members and staff meet in open forums to discuss policy issues and future planning for the Clubhouse.
Benefits of a Clubhouse
The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has identified over $300 Billion in annual costs associated with mental illness.  Not included are the additional costs of homelessness, incarceration, legal systems and family expenses.  According to available research, Clubhouses achieve the following tangible results for members and their communities.
  • Higher Employment: Two studies have shown that the clubhouse model produces higher rates of employment, longer job tenure, and higher earnings than other programs offered for people with mental illness.
  • Cost Effectiveness: One year of holistic recovery services are delivered to clubhouse members for the same cost as a two week stay in a psychiatric hospital.  Studies indicate Clubhouses are significantly more cost effective than other models.
  • Reduced Hospital Stays: Membership in a Clubhouse has resulted in a significant decrease in the number and length of hospitalizations.
  • Reduced Incarcerations: Criminal justice system involvement has been found to be substantially diminished during and after clubhouse membership.
  • Improved Well-Being: Clubhouse members were significantly more likely to report close friendships and someone they could rely on when they needed help.
  • Better Physical and Mental Health: Clubhouses offer ongoing social supports that enhance physical and mental health by reducing disconnect-ness.
NAMI Georgia’s 2018 Annual Conference included a Clubhouse Forum:

     
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