What is Clubhouse
The Origin of the Term “Clubhouse”
To be a member of an organization means to belong, to fit in somewhere, and to have a place where one is always welcome. For a person living with mental illness, these simple things cannot be taken for granted. In fact, the reality for most people who live with mental illness is that they have a constant sense of not fitting in, of isolation and rejection. Mental illness often has the devastating effect of separating people from others in society. Mental patient,” “client,” “disabled,” “consumer” and “user” are all terms used by society as a reference to people living with mental illness. People living with mental illness are often segregated according to these label and defined by them as people who need something, or as people who are societal burdens that need to be managed.
In a Clubhouse, each member is given the message that he or she is welcome, wanted, needed and expected each day. The message that each member’s involvement is an important contribution to the community is a message that is communicated throughout the Clubhouse day. Staff and other members greet each person at the door of the Clubhouse each morning with a smile and words of welcome.
Membership in a Clubhouse gives a person living with 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.