Playing In The Big Leagues
Photo credit: S:US
To the delight of members and staff, S:US’ Brooklyn Clubhouse recently received full three-year accreditation from Clubhouse International. This accreditation recognizes the meaningful relationships and supportive services shared by members, each of whom is recovering from a serious mental illness.
Clubhouse International is a global not-for-profit organization that helps local communities around the world set up community-based centers that give people with mental illness the hope and opportunities they need to reach their full potential. A clubhouse is a comprehensive form of a psychosocial rehabilitation program. It is for adults who experience serious and persistent mental illness who have a desire to improve the quality of their lives through meaningful work and relationships as well as employment & supported education. Clubhouses are founded on the principle that recovery from a serious mental illness must involve the whole person, in a vital and culturally-sensitive community.
Here are the areas for which Clubhouse International has commended our Brooklyn Clubhouse:
- The Brooklyn Clubhouse is a vibrant, Standards-based Clubhouse that was developed in a very short period of time.
- The Clubhouse has a strong Transitional Employment system that far exceeds the benchmarks of the Clubhouse Employment Guidelines.
- There are strong relationships throughout the Clubhouse.
- We observed active member participation in all aspects of the Clubhouse.
- The Clubhouse culture fosters an expectation of and excitement about employment.
S:US staff who serve in the Brooklyn Clubhouse are very encouraging to each member, and members in turn look for ways to support one another. A great example of this is the transformation of Andrea M. (below) who now working, thanks to the Clubhouse’s Transitional Employment placements.
Andrea is just one example of the many success stories coming out of our Brooklyn Clubhouse. We continue to provide dignity and hope to people who are living with serious mental illness by assisting them to develop critical life coping skills. And through our through our Transitional Employment placements we help these individuals prepare for competitive employment including preparation for GED and training in basic computing, food service and facilities management. Clubhouse members not only offer valuable social opportunities and support to one another but also participate in all aspects of the Clubhouse operations, including recruitment and orientation of new members, hiring staff and organizing activities. Peer counselors drive and enhance the recovery-oriented environment, which encourages members to find their own voice, recognize their strengths and use available supports to facilitate their recovery.
Thanks to this accreditation, the Department of Mental Health (DOHMH) will be funding more transitional employment placements so that all Clubhouse members can be offered revolving jobs. Additional short-term effects of accreditation include DOHMH funding and recognition of S:US as a true partner ready to lead in the area of Medicaid managed care and beyond. Longer-term benefits include being recognized as a Standards-based Clubhouse community, having psychiatric clinics and programs across NYC asking us to take their patients which will prompt us to come up with a waiting list. We are now eligible to ask DOHMH to increase our program capacity in order to accommodate our increased referrals. And we are now known as the only Clubhouse in NYC with an Urban Farms program that offers its members paid transitional employment.
Being accredited has put our Brooklyn Clubhouse firmly and squarely on the local and world map as a recognized member of the international network of 323 accredited Clubhouses in 33 different countries.
You might say that we are now playing in the big leagues.
* Clubhouse member currently being paid for rotational work through the transitional employment program.