A Work-Ordered Day
The daily activity of a Clubhouse is organized around a structured system known as the work-ordered day. The work-ordered day is an eight-hour period, typically Monday through Friday, which parallels the typical business hours of the working community where the Clubhouse is located. Members and staff work side by side, as colleagues to perform the work that is important to their community. All of the work in the Clubhouse is for the Clubhouse and not for any outside agency or business. There are no clinical therapies or treatment-oriented programs in the Clubhouse. Members volunteer to participate as they feel ready and according to their individual interests.
Consensus-based decision making
Decision-making and governance are an important part of the Clubhouse work. Members and staff meet in open forums to discuss policy issues and future planning for the Clubhouse. Clubhouses also have an independent board of directors or advisory board that is charged with oversight management, fundraising, public relations and helping to develop employment opportunities for members.
Opportunities to obtain paid employment through…..
As a right of membership, Clubhouses provide members with opportunities to return to paid employment in integrated work settings through both Transitional Employment and Independent Employment programs.
Transitional Employment is a highly structured program for members returning to work in local business and industry. Transitional Employment placements are at the employer’s place of business, are part-time (15-20 hours per week), and include a lot of on-the-job and off-site support from Clubhouse staff and other members. These placements generally last from six to nine months. Members can then try another placement or move on to independent employment. Transitional Employment is specifically designed as a vocational rehabilitation program where a member can gain or regain the skills and confidence necessary to have a job while he or she is employed in a “real world” position. The only requirement for the member to participate in Transitional Employment is the expressed desire to work.
Independent Employment is a program of the Clubhouse through which members, when ready, are broadly helped by the Clubhouse to seek and obtain a job of their own. The Clubhouse then provides ongoing support and encouragement for the members as long as they remain employed and want assistance. There is no on-site support at the place of business for members in Independent Employment; all support takes place at the Clubhouse, or in the community.
Help in accessing social and medical services
People living with mental illness often require a variety of social and medical services. Through the work-ordered day at the Clubhouse, members are given help in accessing the best quality services in their community. Help is given to members in acquiring and keeping affordable and dignified housing, psychiatric and general medical services, government disability benefits and any other needed services. Members and staff from the Clubhouse ensure all such support and assistance.
Evening and weekend social and recreational activities
In addition to work opportunities, Clubhouses provide evening, weekend, and holiday social and recreational programming. Members and staff together organize structured and non-structured social activities. These activities are scheduled outside of the work-ordered day. Holidays are celebrated on the day on which they fall. Activities are scheduled both at the Clubhouse and in the community.
Assistance with housing
Safe, decent, dignified housing is a right of all members. The Clubhouse helps members to access quality housing. If there is none available for members the Clubhouse seeks funding and creates its own housing program.
Part of the daily work of the Clubhouse involves keeping in contact with all active members. When a member does not attend the Clubhouse or is in the hospital a “reach-out” telephone call or visit is made. Each member is reminded that he or she is missed, and welcome and needed at the Clubhouse. This process not only encourages members to participate, but it is also an early warning system for members who are experiencing difficulties and may need extra help.