What is a Clubhouse? A Clubhouse is first and foremost a community of people. Much more than simply a program, or a social service, a Clubhouse is most importantly a community of people who are working together toward a common goal. A Clubhouse 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 worlds of friendships, family, important work, employment, education, and to access the services and supports they may individually need. 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 for all.
Clubhouse The descriptive name of Clubhouse was taken from the original language that was used to communicate the work and vision of the first clubhouse, Fountain House in New York City, started in 1948. As the first community of its kind, Fountain House has served as the model for all subsequent Clubhouses that have developed around the world. Fountain House began when former patients of a New York psychiatric hospital began to meet together informally, as a kind of “Club.” It was organized to be a support system for people living with mental illness, rather than as a service or a treatment program. Communities around the world that have modeled themselves after Fountain House have embraced the term “Clubhouse,” because it clearly communicates the message of membership and belonging. This message is at the very heart of the Clubhouse way of working. (Joel Corcoran Executive Director, ICCD)