The clubhouse is a community-based organization, and the people who come and participate in it are members of the community. Membership in the Clubhouse is open to anyone with a history of mental crisis. The idea of this membership is a fundamental and basic idea in the concept of the Clubhouse: Being a member of the organization means that the person shares both ownership and responsibility for the success of this organization and community!
To be a member of an organization means to belong, to fit into a certain place, where you are always welcome, feel needed, wanted and acceptable. For a person who has experienced a mental crisis, these simple things are not taken for granted. In fact, reality is living in a constant sense of exclusion, mismatch, isolation, and rejection.
“Mentally ill”, “patient”, “client”, “disabled person”, “consumer” -all these and more are terms that society uses in relation to people living with the consequences of a mental crisis.
These people are often separated by these labels and defined by them as “needy” people and constitute a social burden.
In the Clubhouse, a person with mental illness is perceived as a valued participant, as a colleague and as someone who has something to contribute to the rest of the community. Every person is an essential and critical part of the community, and is involved in meaningful work.
Every member is welcome, expected and needed, each member’s involvement is an important contribution to the community.