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World Innovation Summit for Health

A Healthier World Through Global Collaboration

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Clubhouse International

Organization: International Centre for Clubhouse Development

Country: Global

Forum: Mental health

A Clubhouse is a local community center that offers people living with mental illnesses hope and opportunities to achieve their full potential. It is based on the belief that work and normalized social and recreational opportunities are instrumental to an individual’s wellbeing and recovery. Clubhouse members are not seen as patients but as valued participants, colleagues and contributors.

The basic components of successful Clubhouses are:

  • A work-ordered day which parallels the typical business hours of the local community
  • Employment programs which provide opportunities to return to paid employment
  • Evening, weekend and holiday activities
  • Community support when accessing social and medical services and finding housing
  • Ongoing communication to remind members that they are missed, welcome and valued
  • Education opportunities, including certificate and degree programs at academic institutions and adult education providers. Making use of members’ talents and skills to provide educational opportunities to others, particularly in literacy
  • Joint decision-making and governance between members and staff as colleagues

The Clubhouse model is replicable in any location because it relies on the concepts of community and local cultural norms; there are currently 330 Clubhouses across 33 countries over 6 continents.

Each year, Clubhouses are accessed by about 100,000 people with mental health problems, of whom about 60,000 are active members and regular users. Clubhouses have been shown to deliver the following benefits:

  • significant decrease in the number of hospitalizations
  • significant increase in working days and average earnings
  • about half the annual costs of Community Mental Health Centers
  • in China, Clubhouse participants showed significant improvements in their symptoms, self-esteem, employability and quality of life after attending the clubhouse for six months
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