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What is a Clubhouse?

What is Crossroads Clubhouse?

Crossroads Clubhouse is a non-profit 501(3)(c) organization dedicated to providing social and vocational rehabilitation to adults in the Tulsa area living with the effects of a serious mental illness based on the Clubhouse Model of Rehabilitation.

What is the Clubhouse Model?

Traditional day treatment models focus on the individuals’ illness and clinical treatment. In contrast, the Clubhouse Model is not a clinical program. There are no therapists or psychiatrists on staff. A Clubhouse is designed to be a place where a person with a mental illness is not a patient and is not defined by a disability level. Instead, a Clubhouse is a community intentionally organized to support individuals living with the effects of mental illness. To this end, Clubhouse participants are “members,” not “patients” or “clients.”

The reality for most people with mental illness is that they have a constant sense of not fitting in, of isolation, and rejection. Mental illness has the devastating effect of separating people from others in society. Through participation in a Clubhouse, people are given opportunities to rejoin the worlds of friendships, family, important work, employment, education, and to access the services and supports they may individually need.

What are the Clubhouse Philosophy and Values?

The members and staff of a Clubhouse work side-by-side to manage all the operations of the Clubhouse, providing an opportunity for members to contribute in significant and meaningful ways. Clubhouse staffing levels are purposefully kept low to create a perpetual circumstance where the staff will genuinely need the members to help accomplish the work of the Clubhouse. Thus, membership in a Clubhouse community gives a person living with mental illness the opportunity to share in creating successes for the community. At the same time, he or she is getting the necessary help and support to achieve individual success.

The Clubhouse Model has proven that people with mental illness can successfully live productive lives and work in the community, regardless of the nature or severity of their mental illness. Clubhouse communities hold the conviction that work, and work-mediated relationships are restorative and provide a firm foundation for growth and important individual achievement. It is also a strongly held belief that normalized social and recreational opportunities are an important part of recovery.

  • Work-ordered Day – The daily activity of a Clubhouse focuses on 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 business hours of the working community. Members and staff work side by side, as colleagues, to carry out the work that is important to their community.
  • Employment Programs – Clubhouses offer a tiered employment program designed to integrate interested members back into meaningful and gainful employment.
    • The first tier is Transitional Employment (TE), in which members can work in meaningful part-time jobs outside the Clubhouse procured through partnerships with community entities and businesses. The member selected by the Clubhouse community for these positions receive training from a clubhouse staff who is in charge of that particular placement. As an incentive to the employer, job attendance, and performance are guaranteed, as a staff and/or member will support or even fill-in for the clubhouse member if he or she needs to be absent for any reason. Each member contribution at a TE position is designed to be transitional and temporary, lasting for six to nine months, as these positions belong to the clubhouse and are designed in such a way so that ideally all members will have an opportunity to work.
    • The second step is supported employment, in which the clubhouse helps an interested member obtains his or her employment and serves as a resource and support for resume makeup, interviewing skills, transportation, and employer liaisons.
    • The final step is independent employment, in which the member is meaningfully and gainfully employed without the intervention (but always the support) of the Clubhouse.
  • Evening, Weekend and Holiday Programs – In addition to the work opportunities, Clubhouses provide evening, weekend, and holiday social and recreational programming.
  • Community Support – People living with mental illness often require a variety of social and medical services. Through the work day at the Clubhouse members are given help accessing quality services in their community. Help available to members in acquiring and keeping affordable and dignified housing, good mental health and general medical and dental services, government disability benefits and any other services they may need.
  • Reach-out – Part of the daily work of the Clubhouse involves keeping track of all of the active members. When a member does not attend the Clubhouse or is in the hospital a “reach out” telephone call or visit is made to the absent member reminding them that they are missed, welcomed, and needed at the Clubhouse.
  • Education – The Clubhouse offers educational opportunities for members to complete or start certificate and degree programs at academic institutions and adult education programs.
  • Housing – The Clubhouse helps members to access quality, affordable housing.
  • Decision-making and Governance – 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 that is charged with oversight management, fundraising, public relations and helping to develop employment opportunities for members.

How is Crossroads different from other mental health services in Tulsa?

Crossroads is not a clinical program. There are no therapists or psychiatrists on staff. Crossroads is a place where adults with mental illness can become a member of a community intentionally organized to support those individuals living with the effects of mental illness. Moreover, Crossroads focuses on supporting and advocating for individuals, rather than on a community wide basis. While there is some overlap between Crossroads and other agencies, the role of educating the community at large about the effects of mental illness, community advocacy and supporting scientific research is primarily filled by other community agencies.

What are ways non-members can become involved in supporting Crossroads?

  • Volunteer
  • Serve on the Advisory Board
  • Serve on a Board committee
  • Donate financial resources