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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:


World Seminar 2022

Clubhouse International's World Seminar 2022 trained and connected over 600 Clubhouse colleagues representing 170 Clubhouses from 14 countries and 32 US states. Held in person at the Marriott Baltimore Waterfront Hotel on Sept. 17-22, the Seminar offered five information-packed days with 8 plenary sessions and 47 workshops, in addition to a host of networking opportunities. A virtual event was held afterwards for anyone who could not attend the World Seminar in person.


VIRTUAL World Seminar

The 2021 VIRTUAL World Seminar, held on October 4-8, attracted over 1,300 participants from 27 countries, 35 U.S. states, and nearly 200 Clubhouses, in addition to several global mental health organizations and stakeholders. Guest speakers included Dr. Ingrid Daniels, President, World Federation for Mental Health, who opened the proceedings.

Partnership with US Hill Day at Home

We were a proud partner of US Hill Day at Home, along with National Council for Mental Wellbeing and more than 20 leading advocacy organizations. This virtual advocacy event offers a great opportunity to raise awareness about critical mental health and substance use care issues, and call for expanded services. 


First-ever VIRTUAL USA Clubhouse Conference

The conference, held October 8-9, 2020, drew 1,100 registrants from 207 Clubhouses/organizations, 8 countries and 37 US states. The program offered two plenary sessions and 13 workshops. Several guest speakers noted the contributions and advocacy efforts of Clubhouse International and the US Clubhouses, including: Debbie Stabenow, US Senator, Michigan; Andrew Sperling, Director, Legislative Affairs, Advocacy & Public Policy, National Alliance on Mental Illness; Dr. Jeffrey Geller, President, American Psychiatric Association.


Clubhouse International Participates in NAMI Convention

Executive Director Joel D. Corcoran and COO, Jack Yatsko, hosted a booth at NAMI's National Convention held on June 19-22 in Seattle WA, 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 Hosts European Clubhouse Conference

In November we hosted the European Clubhouse Conference with 220 participants from 14 countries. In Europe, the Clubhouse model has been showcased in a variety of different Mental Health Forums (e.g. Mental Health Europe, World Health Organization, World Association of Psychosocial Rehabilitation). Clubhouse International is an active participant in this effort through the Clubhouse Europe board of directors and advocacy committee.

Clubhouse International Co-Sponsor of Healthier Longer Lives Conference

Clubhouse International was a Collaborating Sponsor for the Healthier Longer Lives for people with serious mental illness international conference in November. The conference partners were Fountain House, WHO Center for Global Mental Health at Columbia University, CitiesRISE and Grand Challenges Canada. Clubhouse International sponsored several low income country participants in this event raising awareness and highlighting innovations and scientific advancements promoting healthcare and wellness for people with mental illness.

Clubhouse International Coordinates USA National Clubhouse Conference

More than 300 participants joined us in Washington, D.C. on October 14-16 for the 2018 USA National Clubhouse Conference. The conference emphasized state and national advocacy efforts to demonstrate the effectiveness of the Clubhouse approach to psychosocial rehabilition, along with educational workshops and presentations focused on strengthening key aspects of the Clubhouse Model. Distinguished presenters included: U.S. Senator Chris Van Holland (D-MD); Tom Henry, Mayor of Fort Wayne, IN; Michael Petruzzelli, Manager, Policy & Advocacy, National Council of Behavioral Health, and HannahWesolowski, Director Field Advocacy for USA National Alliance on Mental Health to discuss how to effectively convey our message to local, state and national decision-makers. While in the Washington D.C. area many participants visited the offices of their congressional representatives to advocate for Clubhouses and people living with mental illness.

Clubhouse International Partners with United for Global Mental Health

A developing partnership with a new leading global advocacy effort, United for Global Mental Health included highlighting Clubhouse members at theirmeetings during the United Nations General Assembly in September.

Clubhouse International Partners with Hill Day on Federal Advocacy Effort

Clubhouse International partnered with Hill Day, hosted by National Council on Behavioral Health in April 2018, to advocate with federal legislators and decision-makers around the most pressing issues affecting people with mental illness in the United States.


Clubhouse International & Fountain House Meet New WHO Chair

Representatives from Clubhouse International, Clubhouse Europe and Fountain House attended a meeting at the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva to deliver our letter which had been signed by over 300 Clubhouse members and constituents, to the new WHO chair, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. The letter requests WHO to prioritize mental illness in Mental Health Issues. Dr. Tedros wrote, “Let me take this opportunity to thank [you] for the work that is being done in transforming the lives of people with mental illness and WHO looks forward to working with you to address this global crisis.”

Clubhouse International Host Bi-Annual World Seminar in Denver, USA

Our bi-annual World Seminar in Detroit Michigan welcomed more than 700 attendees from 151 Clubhouses across 16 countries. Guest speakers included USA National Wellness Institute, Harvard Medical School/Global Movement for Mental Health, and the USA National Council on Behavioral Healthcare. More than 80 workshops, institutes and plenary sessions were held on topics ranging from emerging Clubhouse best practices in Young Adult programming to research, board development and accreditation.

Clubhouse International becomes an Affiliate Member of the National Council on Behavioral Healthcare

Clubhouse International became an Affiliate Member of the National Council on Behavioral Healthcare, and is now an official Hill Day Partner for the largest national mental health advocacy effort each year in Washington, D.C.

Clubhouse International Participates in Kennedy Forum Event

Clubhouse International participated in the Kennedy Forum event titled “The New Frontier in Mental Health and Addiction” with former U.S. Representative Patrick J. Kennedy, several members of the U. S. Congress and other national mental health advocates.


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 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.

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.


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 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.

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