The Clubhouse Model of Psychosocial Rehabilitation is a comprehensive and dynamic program of support and opportunities for people with severe and persistent mental illnesses. In contrast to traditional day-treatment and other day program models, Clubhouse participants are called “members” (as opposed to “patients” or “clients”) and restorative activities focus on their strengths and abilities, not their illness.
The Clubhouse is unique in that it is not a clinical program, meaning there are no therapists or psychiatrists on staff. All clinical aspects of the program have been removed so as to focus on the strengths of the individual, rather than their illness. Additionally, all participation in a clubhouse is strictly on a voluntary basis.
The International Centre for Clubhouse Development (ICCD) lays out four guaranteed Rights of membership, which are at the core of the Clubhouse Model:
- A right to a place to come
- A right to meaningful relationships
- A right to meaningful work
- A right to a place to return
The members and staff of a Clubhouse work side-by-side to manage all the operations of the Clubhouse, providing an opportunity for members to contribute in significant and meaningful ways; therefore, a Clubhouse is operated in a partnership model with members and staff working side-by-side as colleagues.
Through this environment of support, acceptance, and commitment to the potential contribution and success of each individual, Clubhouses are places where people can belong as contributing adults, rather than passing their time as patients who need to be treated.
The Clubhouse Model seeks to demonstrate that people with mental illness can successfully live productive lives and work in the community, regardless of the nature or severity of their mental illness. Currently, there are over 325 clubhouses in 28 countries around the world.