Clubhouses, Peer-support/Drop-in Centers

We are trying to bring a clubhouse to Manchester, New Hampshire. It will be called Granite Pathways (www.granitepathways.org) and will follow the international model for clubhouse development (www.iccd.org). Most states in the U.S. have these centers, but N.H. was one of the few that didn’t. While we have peer-support, drop-in centers—where both members and staff have mental illnesses–there are none that meet the standards for certification along the model of Fountain House, the first center of this kind. It began in NYC in 1948. These places do not offer therapy. That is left to the professionals and the aforementioned peer-support centers. While I most definitely do not want to minimize the importance of therapy and medication, clubhouses focus on educational and work-assisted programs as a means for members to re-enter society. Many folks with mental illnesses would like to work instead of receiving disability checks, but need the extra support to both get and maintain employment. Of course, socialization and having a safe place to go is also paramount. While we found a nice location for our clubhouse, some neighbors are objecting for all the usual reasons—we don’t want those people in our neighborhood. Blah! Blah! Blah! Of course, those people are already there. (When I lived in that neighborhood, three families on my street alone had adult children with serious mental illnesses.) I’m optimistic that this issue will be sorted out; I just hope it will be sooner rather than later.

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About waywardweed

I am a consumer and parent of two sons, one with a mental illness and the other a third-year law student.
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