Mental Health Advocacy

We initiate and coordinate advocacy efforts globally to build public support to help us open and grow more Clubhouses

Clubhouse International’s leadership, member Clubhouses and Coalitions are active in social, government and mental health advocacy efforts worldwide. As part of these global efforts, our staff or representatives participate in and present the Clubhouse model at many meetings, mental health forums and events. Recent developments include:

2016

Indiana Accredited Clubhouses Are Now Eligible for Medicaid Funding

Congratulations to our Indiana Clubhouses which, after a 6-year, hard-fought battle, have achieved support from the state of Indiana to include Accredited Clubhouses as eligible for Medicaid funding. Advocacy efforts across multiple social services, mental health and Medicaid administrations included: letters to the press, letters to the legislature, meetings with the Department of Mental Health, meetings with Medicaid, visits to the Statehouse, hiring professional advocates and letters to the Governor. Ultimately, a new administration came to recognize the importance of Accredited Clubhouses, and they began the long and challenging journey to modify the Indiana State Medicaid Plan. Last week, that plan was finally completed and approved.

Clubhouse International Participates in NAMI Convention

Executive Director Joel D. Corcoran and COO, Jack Yatsko, plus two Colorado Clubhouses, Frontier House and Spirit Crossing Clubhouse, hosted a booth at NAMI's National Convention held on July 6-9 in Denver, Colorado, which attracted over 1,500 participants. The Convention gave us chance to interact with hundreds of family members, professionals and others interested in learning more about our work to change the world of mental health through the Clubhouse model.

Clubhouse International in Maine

In March, COO Jack Yatsko, and two Maine Clubhouse Directors, Lisa Soucie of High Hopes Clubhouse and Carrie Lyn Lemos of Unlimited Solutions Clubhouse, met with Governor Paul LePage and other Maincare and DHHS officials. The result is that Maine now has their own billing code for Accredited Clubhouses to bill Medicaid within the state, which makes qualifying Clubhouse services even more affordable for members. It’s a big win and will likely result in the opening of more Maine Clubhouses. This momentus decision follows on the heels of similar decisions in Michigan and Indiana.

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Supports Accredited Clubhouses

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has seen dramatic improvements in member outcomes at those Clubhouses that have achieved Clubhouse International Accreditation. As a result, they have made Accreditation a requirement for all Clubhouse programs in Michigan. Clubhouse International, MDHHS and our Michigan Clubhouse Coalition are partnering to ensure success: we expect the number of Accredited Clubhouses in Michigan to double from 15 to 30 in two years, and grow to 40 by December 2018, which is the MDHHS deadline for full Accreditation of all Michigan Clubhouses.

B’More Clubhouse Board Member William A. Eaton, M.D., Ph.D. Testifies in Washington

William A. Eaton, M.D., Ph.D., John’s Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Board Member of B’More Clubhouse, was invited to testify before the United States Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions on January 20, 2016 in Washington, D.C. Dr. Eaton advocated for Clubhouse programs, saying:

“Contrary to some characterizations, schizophrenia is not progressive in its nature: rather, people adapt to the disease over the life course, just as they might adapt to having diabetes. The social environment in which they live is strongly associated with their success in adaptation… and should be free from stigma, stable, with uncomplicated access to medical care, a structured workday, and the presence of friends and acquaintances. This structure is the aim of many rehabilitation programs, including the well-known clubhouse model, which has shown good success in generating stable employment and lower health costs.” Click here for full testimony.

Leading Healthcare Consulting Firm Includes Toolkit for Making Medicaid Billing More Clubhouse-Friendly

In 2016, the NY Community Trust project with Health Management Associates (HMA) will include developing a toolkit for advocating with state government to make Medicaid billing more Clubhouse-friendly. HMA is a leading independent national research and consulting firm in the healthcare industry.

2015

Clubhouse International Co-Sponsors 12th World Congress of the World Association for Psychosocial Rehabilitation in Seoul Korea

In November 2015, Joel Corcoran, Executive Director of Clubhouse International, presented at a symposium promoting the Clubhouse model along with members and staff from Taiwha Fountain House (our training base in Seoul), Colleen McKay of the Program for Clubhouse Research at UMASS and Professor Chung. Joel also participated in a presidential symposium at the Congress regarding the future of psychosocial rehabilitation. Many Congress attendees from Asia and around the world also toured Taiwha Fountain House.

Clubhouse International Presents at the National Alliance on Mental Illness Convention

In August 2015, Clubhouse International presented at a plenary symposium at the National Alliance on Mental Illness Convention in Washington, D.C., attended by well over 200 NAMI members. Clubhouse International shared the panel with the Dartmouth College Supported Employment Program.

Clubhouse International Participates in the World Federation for Mental Health’s Mental Health Conference

In April 2015, Clubhouse International participated in the World Federation for Mental Health’s Mental Health Conference in Lille, France, where a workshop on psychosocial rehabilitation was organized in collaboration with World Association for Psychosocial Rehabilitation (WAPR). The Clubhouse model was presented by Mark Lanier (Chair of Clubhouse International), Wander Reitsma (Chair of Clubhouse Europe) and Esko Hänninen.

Colleagues from Clubhouse Europe Attend and Present the Clubhouse Model at Various Mental Health Conferences in 2015

Our colleagues and friends in Clubhouse Europe (our European Clubhouse Coalition), attended and presented the Clubhouse model at various mental health conferences in 2015, including:

  • European Conference of World Association for Psychosocial Rehabilitation (WAPR), where a symposium on psychosocial innovations was organized (April). The Clubhouse model was presented by Esko Hänninen (Clubhouse Europe), Francesco Baglioni (Director of Club Itaca Milano) and Henrik Wahlberg (President of WAPR).
  • European Conference on Mental Health (October), where a work-shop was presented by our Finnish Clubhouse Coalition.
  • Mental Health Europe’s Capacity-Building Event on the UN Convention for Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and how it should be applied in the field of Mental Health (December). A first-ever workshop on the Clubhouse model was presented by Emily Adamberry Olivero, Director of our Gibraltar Clubhouse

Executive Director Joel Corcoran Writes President Obama on Behalf of Clubhouses

Executive Director Joel Corcoran wrote a letter to President Obama on behalf of Clubhouse International asking him to support mental health as an important part of any post-2015 health-related Millennium Development Goals.

2014

Clubhouse International Coordinates USA National Clubhouse Conference

In response to growing demand in the US, Clubhouse International coordinated USA National Clubhouse Conference in Silver Spring Maryland in November 2014. The primary focus of the conference was to begin coordinated national and states advocacy efforts. Nearly 300 participants registered for 14 workshops and 3 plenary sessions, which featured speakers from the USA Centers from Medicare and Medicaid Services, NAMI, Pennsylvania Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, and representatives from the American Psychiatric Association (J. Geller) and the former Deputy Commissioner of mental health in NY and Maryland. We also had a presentation from a State Senator in Ohio and many Clubhouse leaders from across the US.