Clubhouse is more than simply a program or social service; a Clubhouse is most importantly a community of people who are working together to achieve a common goal.
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 re-join the worlds of friendships, family, work, education, and to access the services and supports they may individually need.
A Clubhouse is a membership organization, and the people who come and participate in a Clubhouse are its members. Membership in a Clubhouse is open to anyone who has a history of mental illness. This idea of membership is fundamental to the Clubhouse concept: being a member of an organization means that an individual has both shared ownership and shared responsibility for the success of that organization. To be a member of an organization means to belong, to fit in somewhere, and to have a place where one is always welcome. 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.
Relationships between members and staff develop naturally as they work together side by side to carry out the daily duties of the Clubhouse. All of the staff have generalist roles in the Clubhouse; they are involved in all of the Clubhouse activities including the daily work duties, the evening social and recreational programs, the employment programs, outreach, supported education and community support responsibilities. Members and staff share the responsibility for the successful operation of the Clubhouse. Working closely together each day members and staff learn of each others’ strengths, talents and abilities. They also develop real and lasting friendships. Because the design of a Clubhouse is much like a typical work or business environment, relationships develop in much the same way.
Clubhouse Gibraltar have developed a Young Adults Program to meet the needs of our younger members (18 to 35 years old). The group is growing steadily and organises many social trips and age-specific support in both employment & education.