Why We Come: Clubhouse Members Seek Connection, Purpose and Meaning

Abstract

Approximately 4.5% of U.S. adults live with a serious mental illness (SMI) (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2018). Creating a place for people seeking structure, connection, and purpose following psychiatric hospitalization or for mental health recovery is difficult given several factors associated with illness trajectories, lack of community-based support programs, and reliance on traditional models of care. Using semi-structured interviews, the current study examined the reasons people attend community programs referred to as psychosocial "clubhouses." Interviews with 140 people across 10 clubhouse programs in one state were conducted. Qualitative analyses revealed that social connections and the need to reduce social isolation were driving forces for attending. Further, individuals noted that the “structure” of engaging in meaningful activities and roles was a main reason for participating. Authors discuss the continued need for community models that provide a “place” for all people to successfully engage and recover from psychiatric illnesses.

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Correspondence to Francesca M. Pernice.

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Pernice, F.M., Price, M.H. & Rice, K. Why We Come: Clubhouse Members Seek Connection, Purpose and Meaning. Community Ment Health J 57, 446–456 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10597-020-00685-6

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Keywords

  • Clubhouse
  • Fountain house
  • Psychiatric rehabilitation
  • Serious mental illness