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"Community Recovery Centres Are Vital for Supporting Mental Health"

HuffingtonPost.Ca – October 10, 2015

Summary:  Criss Habal-Brosek, Executive Director of Progress Place and Co-Chair of Clubhouse Canada Coalition, recently wrote about the need for community recovery centres for people living with mental illness. Click here to read the article.

Fred Carpenter on Clubhouse International, Gateway House and the Clubhouse Model

The Greenville News – September 19, 2014

Summary: Clubhouse International Board member, Fred Carpenter, recently wrote about the success of the Clubhouse model in an article published by The Greenville News, “There’s help for mental illness.” In the article he describes his passion for mental health issues and the work of Clubhouse International, Gateway House and other Clubhouses around the world. Click here to read the article.

Help, faith lead Steven Manning back from the depths of severe depression
The News-Sentinel – November 5, 2013
Summary: Carriage House member, Steven Manning, was the subject of an article in the Ft. Wayne News-Sentinel recently. Manning, who now runs his own production company, was at his lowest point 12 years ago, suffering from bipolar disorder. He was gradually helped to recovery through his faith, help from a local mental health center and Carriage House. “The Clubhouse focuses on a person’s skills, talents and interests,” said Manning who started going there in 2001. Andy Wilson, Carriage House Executive Director, said that a transitional job began to set Manning’s life on its current positive course. “I remember him pushing himself beyond where he was comfortable,” Wilson said. But Manning kept at it. He launched his company, Manning Video Productions, while still at Carriage House, achieved his goal of earning a master's degree and with the help of medication has been symptom free since 2008. 

There's No Stigma to Having a Mental Illness

Mental illness advocates should simply decide that there is no stigma. While eliminating "stigma" requires only a change in their own thinking, the battle to eliminate prejudice and discrimination is much harder and is still ongoing, because it requires changing others. But importantly, eliminating prejudice and discrimination couldn't be done without first recognizing that the alleged "stigma" that was preventing everyone from speaking out didn't even exist. Stigma was killed, and everyone moved on to focus on the real enemy: prejudice and discrimination.

May was Mental Health Awareness Month. This year, it should be celebrated as "Stigma Is Dead Month." Next year it should be converted to "End Discrimination Against The Mentally Ill Month." Click here to read the entire article.

Top U.S. General Cautions against Mental Illness Stigma after Tragic Shootings

Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin E. Dempsey, speaks out against mental illness stigma after U.S. Navy Yard Shootings

During a Pentagon press conference held by Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Martin E. Dempsey on September 18, 2013, reporters asked questions about the recent tragic shootings at the U.S. Navy Yard. When asked about de-stigmatizing mental health and the issue of security clearance, General Dempsey responded with a clear statement defending the rights of the mentally ill:

“As for the questions about mental health on security clearance forms, I actually was one of those with Pete Chiarelli and others who believed that men and women should have the opportunity to overcome… their mental disorders or their mental challenges or… their clinical health challenges and shouldn't be stigmatized. And so I still remain in that camp, that a man or woman should have the ability to -- with treatment -- overcome them and then to have a fruitful life and gain employment, including inside of the military.”

Clubhouse International applauds General Dempsey for his outspoken statement in defense of the rights of those living with mental illness and against stigmatization. Click here to read the full press release.

Mental Illness Awareness Week, Oct. 6-12, 2013
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
Summary:  In recognition of NAMI’s efforts to raise mental illness awareness, Congress designated the first full week of October as Mental Illness Awareness Week. To take full advantage of this week and spread the word about mental illness, NAMI has prepared a complete range of suggestions and ideas including a list of potential activities, ways for individuals to educate themselves about mental illness, and a fully developed Public Relations and Marketing Toolkit. Clubhouse International recognizes the work of NAMI affiliates and all mental health programs across the United States, which work tirelessly to raise awareness about mental illness. For more information about NAMI's programs for Mental Illness Awareness Week, click here.

"The cost of mental illness"

OECD Better Life Index – February 8, 2013

Summary:  Julia Laplane of the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) recently wrote about the importance of mental health and the cost of mental illness to society. Of the 36 countries within the OECD, approximately 20% of the working-age population suffers from a mental disorder (most commonly depression, anxiety or substance abuse). Recent studies show that mental health is often linked to poor physical health. According to a recent Australian study, young people are particularly vulnerable to mental health issues: 75% of all mental illnesses develop before the age of 24. The cost of mental illness is significant, representing 3-4% of the European Union’s gross domestic product:
• People living with mental illness tend to have more difficulty entering or remaining in the workforce.
• Workers with mental disorders need more help to maintain their jobs and many struggle in the workplace.
• Mental illness is correlated with more absence in the workplace and risk of reduced productivity.


Also, many people still do not feel comfortable acknowledging mental health issues. As Laplane states, “Mental disorders still represent a taboo, which has been neglected for too long.” To read the entire article click here.

"Successful and Schizophrenic"
The New York Times – January 25, 2013

Summary: The New York Times recently published an Op-Ed article by law professor and author Elyn Saks, which highlights the fact that some people with severe mental illness are capable of high levels of achievement and happiness. Dr. Saks describes her life since being given a diagnosis of schizophrenia thirty years ago. Her diagnosis had been “grave” and she was left with little hope of living independently, working or living a full life. Today, she is a chaired professor at USC Gould School of Law, has an adjunct appointment in the department of psychiatry at USC medical school and has received a MacArthur Foundation genius grant. She also married in her mid-40s and leads a fulfilling personal life. She describes how she deals with the limitations of her mental illness on a daily basis, and the techniques she has learned to manage her symptoms. One of the most important techniques for her has been work and keeping her mind challenged and active. “…the work piece – using my mind – is my best defense. It keeps me focused, it keeps the demons at bay. My mind, I have come to say, is both my worst enemy and my best friend.” To read the entire article click here.

“Jeffrey Epstein Offers Critical Funding to Clear Blue Sky, Inc.”
PR Newswire -  November 20, 2012

Summary: The Jeffrey Epstein VI Foundation has offered critical funds to Clear Blue Sky Inc., the largest mental health clinic in the US Virgin Islands. Clear Blue Sky Inc. provides an unprecedented approach to mental health focusing on integrating patients or "members" into the local community to enhance not just a sense of responsibility and belonging, but life goals, confidence and hope.

The Jeffrey Epstein VI Foundation was founded in 2000 by Jeffrey Epstein, a financier, who established the Program for Evolutionary Dynamics at Harvard University in 2003. The Program studies evolution from a mathematical point of view. His foundation now supports cutting edge science research around the world

Located in Charlotte, Amalie in St. Thomas, Clear Blue Sky is a part of the International Center for ClubhouseDevelopment (ICCD). ICCD's history dates back to 1948 but was established in 1994 as a non-governmental organization.

"ICCD focuses on real life experiences and that is essential for self-esteem and achievement," Jeffrey Epstein stated.

In addition to founding the Jeffrey Epstein VI Foundation, Jeffrey Epstein is a former member of Rockefeller University, the New York Academy of Science, the Trilateral Commission, the Council on Foreign Relations and sits on the board of the Mind, Brain and Behavior Committee at Harvard University.

“Clubhouse Connection”
Grand Traverse Insider -  January 23, 2012
Summary:  The Traverse House of Traverse City, Michigan is in the news. Traverse House recently earned the status of accreditation by ICCD. The article quotes Traverse House Director, Signe Ruddy, who explains what a Clubhouse is and what Traverse House does for its members and the community. Ruddy believes that the ICCD accreditation is a validation of the mission and values embodied by Traverse House. “Like all Clubhouse programs, Traverse House focuses on people’s strengths, not their illness,” said Ruddy. “Members and staff work side-by-side in decision making and governance of the program. Through the activities of a work-ordered day, individual members achieve or regain the confidence and skills necessary to lead vocationally productive and socially satisfying lives.” Traverse House currently has 76 members and 4 staff.

" Finding Purpose After Living with Delusion”
The New York Times -  November 26, 2011
Summary: In the fourth article of his "Lives Restored" series for the New York Times, Benedict Carey wrote about the case of Milt Greek who is managing a successful work and family life despite living with schizophrenia and a history of delusions that he needed to save the world. Mr. Greek is one of a number of people who believe that delusions are not merely symptoms of a disease but can be examined for meaning and contribute to recovery. Mr. Greek's regimen combines meditation, work, drug treatment, therapy and charitable acts. "When I began to see the delusions in the context of things that were happening in my real life, they finally made some sense.....and understanding the story of my psychoses helped me see what I needed to stay well." To read the entire article click here


" Turning Lives Around, With Help From a Clubhouse”

 The New York Times – November 17, 2011

Summary: Brooklyn’s East New York Clubhouse was recently in the news. The New York Times reported the story of clubhouse member, John Halloran, and how he has dealt with his financial and emotional struggles. Mr. Halloran has suffered from post-traumatic stress and anxiety disorders since childhood. He also has a speech impediment, which he believes has been a barrier for him in finding work. In 2009, Mr. Halloran was referred to Brooklyn Community Services’ East New York Clubhouse, where he jumped at the chance to participate in running the clubhouse. “I wanted to get my life together and try and be normal”, he said.  In his volunteer work at the clubhouse, he discovered his passion for cooking and helped prepare meals for fellow members. He also began working at a boxing gym through a transitional employment program at the clubhouse. Mr. Halloran’s dream is to turn cooking into a profession and he has applied to take cooking classes. “When I cook, all my problems disappear,” he said. “It gets rid of all my stress. To read the entire article click here

"Lives Restored"
“Lives Restored: Executive with Schizoaffective Disorder Uses Job to Cope”
The New York Times – October 22, 2011

Summary: The New York Times recently published the third installment in its “Lives Restored” series by Benedict Carey, profiles about people living with severe mental illness. This most recent profile tells the story of Keris Myrick, a fifty-year-old chief executive of a nonprofit organization. Ms. Myrick has been diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder and has worked out her own way of managing her condition while building a full successful life. After years of dealing with the pain of mental illness, Ms. Myrick “learned that she needed a high-profile position, not a low-key one, to face down her spells of paranoia and despair.” In 2008, she took over Project Return Peer Support Network and oversees 94 trained advisers who provide symptom-management advice and other services to people struggling with mental illness. With the help of a therapist, Ms. Myrick has developed a strategy “combining a heavy work schedule, regular reality checks with colleagues, sympathy from her dog and the option to bail out for a few days if needed – in luxury.”
To read the entire article click here

The New York Times – June 23, 2011 and August 6, 2011
Summary: Benedict Carey, journalist and reporter on medical and science topics for The New York Times, has recently published the first two profiles in a series for the Times about “people who are functioning normally despite severe mental illness and have chosen to speak out about their struggles.” The first Lives Restored profile, “Expert on Mental Illness Reveals Her Own Fight, A Therapist’s Demons”recounts the story of Dr. Marsha Linehan, a therapist who created a treatment used worldwide for severely suicidal people. Dr. Linehan has suffered most of her life from borderline personality disorder and recently went public for the first time. “So many people have begged me to come forward”, said Dr. Linehan, “and I just thought – well, I have to do this. I owe it to them. I cannot die a coward.” The second article in the series, “Learning to Cope with a Mind’s Taunting Voices, Managing Mental Illness” profiles Joe Holt, who has a diagnosis of schizophrenia. Mr. Holt is a computer consultant and entrepreneur, married with three foster children. For many years, he attributed the negative voices in his head and thoughts of suicide to a cruel and difficult childhood. In 1996 he began to realize that he suffered from mental illness and started taking steps to manage and learn to live with his condition. “The hardest part is that just to stay in the game, I have to scrutinize my every thought, every attitude, every emotion, everything, and ask, ‘Is this real?’ And when it’s bad, I have to adjust my life somewhat to get through it. I had to have some kind of system.” 

“Equating mental health problems with violence – Prejudices resurface in coverage of Norway killings”
Mental Health Europe Press Release – August 2, 2011
To read the entire
Mental Health Europe Press Release Click Here
Summary: The recent tragic killings in Norway have left 77 people dead and drawn the attention of the entire world. Anders Behring Breivik carried out a shocking attack that demonstrated the dangers of extremism. Many in the media have labeled him a “madman”, a term that Mental Health Europe believes is offensive towards people with mental health problems and contributes to the discrimination and stigmatization they face on a daily basis. According to the World Health Organization, people with mental health problems suffer the most discrimination of all people with disabilities, often as a result of ignorance and prejudice. Reliable studies have shown that mental health problems play no part in the majority of violent crimes and that people with mental health problems are more likely to be victims, rather than perpetrators, of violence. In the case of the Norway tragedy, Breivik may or may not suffer from mental health problems, but no one should instantly assume that he must have mental health problems in order to commit such heinous crimes. By calling Breivik a madman, the media further reinforces damaging stereotypes that affect one of the most vulnerable groups in society.

"Former Senator Michael Kirby Saluted for Mental Health Work"
Calgary Herald – August 13, 2010
Summary: The Honorable Michael Kirby, Chair of the Mental Health Commission of Canada, has been awarded this year’s medal of honour by the Canadian Medical Association for his work in bringing greater awareness of mental health issues to the Canadian public and helping diminish the stigma and discrimination suffered by the mentally ill. According to Kirby, “If people get the right help, there is hope. But you can’t even get started if people aren’t willing to talk about it. Once we take away the stigma, we can begin the work.”

"College Campuses See Rise in Cases of Severe Mental Illness"
Bloomberg Businessweek – August 12, 2010
Summary: A new U.S. study shows that more cases of severe mental illness are being reported among college students than a decade ago and the use of prescription medication by students to treat psychiatric illness has also risen significantly. The author of the study, John C. Guthman, director of student counseling at Hofstra University, analyzed diagnostic records concerning 3,300 undergraduate and graduate students who had sought college counseling at some point between 1997 and 2009. “If we look at the average college student and their level of psychological and emotional functioning and distress, on the whole they are not necessarily worse off than they were 10 years ago,” explained Guthman. “However, there are some students who are outliers and they have some difficulty in some areas. And these relatively few students that present in significant distress seem to have increased to a greater percentage than they were a decade ago.” Some of the theories offered to explain these changes are: more people are going for a college degree, colleges are seen as more supportive environments than before, improved medications are now available, and accessing support elsewhere is more difficult in the current health care environment.

"PhRMA films 'record 313 mental illness drug now in R&D"
PharmaTimes – July 19, 2010
Summary: According to a recent article by Lynne Taylor, a new study by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) reveals that 313 new medicines to treat mental health disorders are now either in clinical trial or awaiting FDA review. These new products include medicines for depression, addictive disorders, dementias (including Alzheimer’s disease), schizophrenia and others. The study points out that mental disorders account for over 15% of the burden of disease in “established market economies, which is more than the disease burden caused by all cancers.” Ken Johnson, senior vice president of PhRMA, says that a high priority is tackling dementia, and researchers are using “cutting-edge technology to develop therapies to delay or even reverse the ravages of dementia.” According to an estimate by the U.S. Alzheimer’s Association, the health care system could save $170 billion by 2030 if a new treatment that delayed the onset of dementia by 5 years was available in 2015. Mr. Johnson adds that “success by even one of the 90 drugs being researched for dementia would reduce an untold amount of suffering by patients and their families – such treatments can also save the health care system billions of dollars, especially as baby boomers age.”

"SAHSHA and the Ad Council Launch National Campaign to Raise Awareness about Mental Health Problems in Hispanic/Latino Communities"
SAMSHA Press Release – July 8, 2010
Summary: The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA), in collaboration with The Advertising Council, announced the launch of a public service advertising campaign to promote recovery from mental health problems within the Hispanic/Latino community. The goal is to educate and inspire young adults to talk openly about mental health issues. According to SAMSHA, 1 in 7 Hispanic/Latino young adults experienced serious psychological distress in the past year. Despite the high prevalence among this group, only 28.3 percent received care within the past 12 months. “Raising awareness that effective treatments for mental illnesses are available and that people recover, can encourage those in need to seek help, said SAMSHA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde, J.D. “This outreach to the Hispanic community will help open dialogue about supporting friends or family members with mental health problems in a culturally relevant way.”

"Former First Lady crusades for better mental health care"
The Washington Post – May 10, 2010
Summary: Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter’s new book, “Within Our Reach: Ending the Mental Health Crisis” describes the obstacles faced by people with mental illness and offers some ideas about how to remove these obstacles.  Carter’s goal is better treatment for people with mental illness, both in the medical and general sense. “Stigma is the most damaging factor in the life of anyone who has a mental illness,” Carter writes. “It humiliates and embarrasses; it is painful; it generates stereotypes, fear, and rejection; it leads to terrible discrimination.” She also points out that, in addition to stigma, people with mental illness are under-served by the health care system and are more likely to die prematurely than others. Her suggestions include: volunteering in the community, contacting Congress, watching your children for signs of mental illness and encouraging more open communication.

"The Americanization of Mental Illness"
The New York Times – January 10, 2010
Summary: The New York Times recently published an essay by Ethan Watters, adapted from his book “Crazy Like Us: The Globalization of the American Psyche.” In this essay, Watters argues that one of the effects of American-led globalization is “Americanizing the world’s understanding of mental health and illness.” Recent research has suggested that mental illnesses have never been the same throughout the world, but are “inevitably sparked and shaped by the ethos of particular times and places.” According to Watters, “For more than a generation now, we in the West have aggressively spread our modern knowledge of mental illness around the world.” The effect of this, he argues, has been to export not only the treatments, but also the expression of mental illness in other cultures. He believes that “mental illness is an illness of the mind and cannot be understood without understanding the ideas, habits and predispositions - the idiosyncratic cultural trappings – of the mind that is its host.”

"Hope is on the horizon for mental health"
The Guardian – December 9, 2009
Summary: Andrew McCulloch, Chief Executive of the Mental Health Foundation, writes about his vision for mental health services in the UK. McCulloch points out that, ten years ago, the National Service Framework (NSF) was launched in the UK. This framework was a new approach to detailed policy-making in healthcare. This marked a major victory for mental health advocates in that one of the three priorities of this initiative was mental health and demonstrated that its importance had been recognized. Since then, mental health services in England have been at least partly transformed, and resources increased by about 50%. Despite this significant progress, McCulloch argues that the enormous need is still not being met. “Mental illness costs the UK economy £100bn a year, and one in four adults experience a mental health problem each year”, he states. After a 2-year collaboration between the mental health sector and the government, New Horizons, a vision for mental health, has been launched. This program is important for several reasons: it understands that good mental health can be delivered only by cross-government action, it highlights the need for a mentally healthy population, and it acknowledges the fact that our mental health is important to all of us. “When is comes to helping those with a severe or enduring mental illness, the vision advocates a recovery-based approach. This means services will need to support individuals to rebuild their lives and achieve the goals they want…..The next stage must be to work on the specifics, but the challenge will be to do with so little resource.”

“Putting a price on mental illness"
The Globe and Mail – October 31, 2009
Summary: According to a recent article in The Globe and Mail, the cost of mental illness to the Canadian economy is enormous - $51 billion a year. This includes $5 billion in direct medical costs, $9.3 billion in lost productivity due to short-term sick leave, $8.5 billion in lost productivity due to long-term disability and $28 billion attributed to “reductions in health-related quality of life”. Some other staggering statistics quoted in the article are:

  • 500,000 Canadians every day are absent from work due to psychiatric and psychological problems.
  • 40% of all disability claims involve mental health conditions.
  • 18 % of workers in Canada have had a diagnosis of clinical depression.
    In addition, the World Health Organization estimates that “by 2020, depression will be the leading cause of disability on the planet.

“Glenn Close and family tackle stigma of mental illness"
ABC News – October 21, 2009
Summary: Actress Glenn Close is speaking out for the first time on television about mental illness in her own family and is teaming up with her sister, Jessie, in a public service campaign to promote a dialogue about a condition that the actress believes we should “talk about as openly as cancer or diabetes.” Jessie Close has bipolar disorder and Jessie’s son, Calen Pick, has schizo-affective disorder. Glenn Close is also the creator of BringChange2Mind, an organization with the purpose of raising awareness about mental illness and providing support and information to those affected. Jessie was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at the age of 47, “after living with it probably her whole life,” said her sister. Her son was diagnosed at the age of 15 with schizo-affective disorder, which means he has both schizophrenia and bipolar disease. Jessie’s message to others is to “be patient with yourself, love yourself” and rely on the support of family and friends.

“Mental Illness: Stigma of Silence"
The Huffington Post – October 21, 2009
Summary: In an article in The Huffington Post, award-winning actress Glenn Close talks about the stigma of mental illness. Close’s own family has been deeply affected by mental illness: her sister suffers from bipolar disorder and her nephew from schizo-affective disorder. She writes, “There has, in fact, been a lot of depression and alcoholism in my family and, traditionally, no one ever spoke about it. It just wasn’t done. The stigma is toxic.” Despite progress with medicine and therapy to treat mental illness, the social stigma remains intact. What our society needs is more openness, candor and conversation about mental illness. We need to promote the understanding that many people, given the right treatment, can be full participants in our society. Close has started a non-profit organization, BringChange2Mind, to encourage open discussion about mental illness and to break through the silence and fear.

“Depression looms as global crisis"
BBC News – September 2, 2009
Summary: BBC News reports that, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), depression will be the biggest health burden on society within 20 years. Over 450 million people currently are affected by mental disorders or disabilities. Dr. Shekhar Saxena of the Department of Mental Health at the WHO told the BBC that “WHO figures clearly show that the burden because of depression is likely to increase – so much so that in 2030 this will be the single biggest cause for burden out of all health conditions.” Dr. Saxena describes depression as a “silent epidemic” which will be a serious problem for developing countries in particular since they have fewer resources to allocate to mental health. Some startling facts about this “silent epidemic”:

  • About half of mental disorders begin before the age of 14
  • Around 20% of the world’s children and adolescents are estimated to have mental disorders or problems
  • Most low- and middle-income countries have only one child psychiatrist for every 1 to 4 million people
  • About 800,000 people commit suicide every year, 86% of them in low - and middle-income countries
  • More than half of the people who kill themselves are between 15 and 44
  • The highest suicide rates are found among men in eastern European countries 

Source: WHO

Since the expectation is that the societal burden from mental illness is on the rise, Dr Saxena emphasizes the importance of changing societal attitudes towards mental illness. “Depression is as much of a disease as any other physical disease that people suffer from and they have a right to get correct advice and treatment within the same health care settings which look after other health conditions.”

“American Psychiatric Foundation Names 2009 Recipients of Awards for Advancing Minority Mental Health”
PR Newswire – May 5, 2009
Summary: Awards were recently announced by the American Psychiatric Foundation to honor the efforts of psychiatrists and mental health providers who have helped provide for the mental health needs of minorities. The recipients are:
Siloam Family Health Center of Nashville, TN
Asian Counseling and Referral Service of Seattle, WA
St; Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center, HIV Center for Comprehensive Care in New York City, NY
Venice Family Clinic in Venice, CA
Imperial County Behavioral Health and Sun Valley Research Center of Imperial, CA.

“We are proud to present these awards to these mental health professionals and organizations, which continue the strong commitment to reducing mental health disparities for racial and ethnic minorities”, said Richard K. Harding, M.D., APF President.

“More Americans Taking Drugs for Mental Illness”
Reuters – May 5, 2009
Summary: According to a recent article published by Reuters, U.S. researchers have reported that the number of Americans using prescription drugs to treat mental illness has increased dramatically since 1996 (73% more adults and 50% more children). The reasons for this increase are primarily expanded insurance coverage and greater familiarity with the drugs among primary care doctors. “Mental health has become much more a part of mainstream medical care”, said Sherry Glied of Columbia University in New York City. However, Glied said that there has been little progress in access to care among people with more serious mental illness.

“As Mental Health Support Wanes, Many Doomed to Homelessness”
The Dallas Morning News – May 3, 2009
Summary: According to a recent article in the Dallas Morning News, the lack of mental health services is especially acute in the state of Texas, which ranks 48th nationwide in spending on mental health care for its poorest residents. One result is chronic homelessness among the mentally ill. “The bottom line is we have a housing affordability crisis, and it most negatively affects people on very low incomes”, said Dennis Culhane, a University of Pennsylvania professor who has done extensive research on homelessness. Culhane said that there are “a lot of homeless people who get social services, shelters, mental health services, all of which does nothing to solve their housing problem.”

“If You Build It, They Will Come”
Behavioral Healthcare – May, 2009
Summary: Independence Center in St. Louis, Missouri has experienced unprecedented growth since occupying its new West End Place Clubhouse in August 2007. It is the second largest Clubhouse in the world (according to the International Center for Clubhouse Development) and has a daily attendance of more than 245 members. Prior to the 2007 opening, there were 2 different Clubhouse centers located seven miles apart. Through an inclusive process involving 11 task forces comprised of members, staff and some board members, the vision of creating a single Clubhouse for Independence Center became a reality. The new Clubhouse is a 50,000 square foot facility, which provides a full array of supports to its members. “The building itself has a palpable energy, and visitors instantly comprehend that this program is all about getting our mentally ill members back into contemporary work settings”, said Executive Director Mike Keller. For more Information, visit www.independencecenter.org.

“Beijing Expands Psychiatric Facilities”
China View – April 29, 2009
Summary: According to an article in China View, Beijing is expanding its mental health facilities. “The city has 6900 psychiatric beds in 32 hospitals and clinics, but the number of people with serious mental illness is estimated at 150,000.” A spokesperson for the Municipal Health Bureau, Deng Xiaohong, said that more large hospitals will be able to diagnose and treat depression and compulsive disorders and counsel terminal cancer patients. According to the Mental Health Center under the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, there are more than 100 million people in China with mental illness but fewer than 5% are aware of their condition.

“Young Need Better Mental Health Care”
Sydney Morning Herald – April 27, 2009
Summary: According to an article by Patrick McGorry, Professor of Youth Mental Health at the University of Melbourne, untreated mental disorders among young adults poses a great risk to society in the form of substance abuse and violence. According to McGorry, “Young adults have the worst access to mental health care and, despite links between offending behaviour, mental disorders and substance abuse, there are virtually no specialised adolescent forensic mental health services in Australia.” The Australian government has taken some initial steps to expand the availability of youth mental health services, but more reform is needed.

“Stairways to Health”
Chico News & Review – April 16, 2009
Summary: A recent article in Chico News & Review reported on the opening of Club Stairways in Chico, California. This nonprofit gathering place, currently housed at the Jesus Center in Chico, is based on the Clubhouse model of Fountain House in New York City. Mike Little, Executive Director of Club Stairways, has been offering housing and support services for those with mental illness for 8 years through Stairway Recovery. He also serves as president of the local National Alliance on Mental Illness chapter. Little researched the Clubhouse model and used it to create the program. He felt that the interaction of members, who participate in the daily operations of the program, set the Clubhouse model apart from other kinds of services.  In less than 2 months, Club Stairways has grown to 57 members.

“Suicide – the Silent Crisis”
The Boston Globe – April 15, 2009
Summary: A recent article in the Boston Globe advocated a more open dialogue about suicide, recognizing it as a major cause of preventable death. Ninety percent of suicides can be prevented, according to the American Association of Suicidology. “Suicide takes more lives than homicide and HIV/AIDS combined, yet it is shrouded in secrecy and blame for the dead, the injured, and their loved ones,” said Ellen Connorton, founder of the Massachusetts Coalition for Suicide Prevention. In the state of Massachusetts, leaders, urged by dedicated advocates and families, have secured funding for innovative suicide prevention programs. These programs cover a broad spectrum, providing training and services in schools, workplaces, neighborhoods and businesses, as well as critical support and intervention for those who have lost a loved one to suicide.

“Mental Health Awareness Must Be Raised”
News Release – Brussels, February 19, 2009
Summary: John Bowis MEP, Conservative health spokesman in the European Parliament, was quoted after MEPs adopted a report on the subject of mental illness,  “There is still far too much stigma surrounding mental illness yet one in four people will suffer from it at some point in their lives. The cost of not acting - especially in a recession - is high. We need greater action to raise awareness and to combat the social exclusion associated with poor mental health.” 

 “Employers Could Save Billions by Reducing Stigma of Mental Illness”
Canwest News Service – January, 14, 2009
Summary: According to a recent article published by Canwest News Service, the military in Canada has achieved success in treating mental illness among soldiers and removing some of the stigma associated with it. Bill Wilkerson, the Chairman of the Global Business and Economic Roundtable on Addiction and Mental Health, recently held a meeting of representatives of some of Canada’s top businesses to learn how the military and Veterans Affairs made managing and treating mental health a priority for the armed forces. Wilkerson feels that if the military can take some of the stigma out of mental illness, so can private employers. Taking action could save them billions of dollars.  According to the forum, the costs of mental disorders now exceed 50 billion dollars a year in Canada.

“Club That’s More Like a Family”
The New York Times – December 28, 2008

Summary: The New York Times recently reported on the opening of Laurel House in New Jersey. The opening of the Clubhouse was the result of several years of lobbying and fund-raising by a handful of parents who had seen what didn’t work for their adult children and wanted to try something new.  “They want to lead productive lives, and they want not to be a burden to society,” said Tom Malamud, 70, of Glen Ridge, who became executive director of Laurel House after working for 42 years at Fountain House in Manhattan.

“New Nationwide Report Reveals that More than One in Every 10 Adults Experienced Serious Psychological Distress in the Past Year”
The National Survey on Drug Use and Health – December 22, 2008

Summary: A new report has been published by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA). Eric Broderick, Acting SAMHSA Mental Health  Administrator, was quoted,  “This new report shows that serious mental health problems affect almost 10 percent of people over age 18 and less than half receive services that could help improve their situation. As we focus on advancing and protecting the nation’s health we must ensure mental health services are part of the solution.”
http://www.samhsa.gov/newsroom/advisories/0901060319.aspx

“Staggering Costs of Mental Illness”
thestar.com – Toronto, December 10, 2008

Summary: In a recent article in the Toronto Star, Jim McCarter was quoted as saying that the estimated total economic costs to Ontario attributable to mental illness was about $22 billion a year.  He said, “Addressing the needs of people with mental illness is a pressing issue for Ontario’s health-care system and society as a whole.” Alcohol and drug abuse alone are estimated to cost the province $8 billion annually in health care, law enforcement, motor vehicle accidents, crime and indirect costs resulting from lost productivity.

“First NJ Clubhouse for Mentally Ill Coming to Hub City”
The Daily Targum – September 8, 2008

Summary: The Daily Targum reported on the opening ofLaurel House in New Jersey and the fact that the Clubhouse is providing those with chronic mental illnesses a new resource to help reintegrate into the work force. “We hope to be the first of many in New Jersey,” said Annette Mayo, the president of the Laurel House Committee, “Their success rate is phenomenal [because] it doesn’t focus on the fact that these people are sick, it focuses on the fact that these people are citizens of the community who would like to have a meaningful life.”

“Programs That Work”
The American Prospect – June 23, 2008
Summary: According to The American Prospect, at least 200,000 Americans with mental illness are homeless, and another 200,000 are in the criminal justice system. Those who aren’t homeless or institutionalized are often confined to their homes and isolated from society. But Clubhouses, as well as other recovery-oriented, community-based options like Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) programs, offer real promise for individuals with mental illness, while at the same time saving millions of dollars for state and local governments.

http://www.prospect.org:80//cs/articles;jsessionid=a_VIuab2WnOfhoRK5_?article=programs_that_work
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“The Plight of a Forgotten Cause”
 Financial Times – November 9, 2007
Summary: Financial Times reported that non-profit organizations dedicated to helping people with mental illness are being neglected. Even though mental illness is more prevalent than cancer or diabetes, non-profit organizations that aim to serve people with mental illness and family members who support them remain hand-to-mouth organizations. While mental health giving grew in the 1990s, an article published in Health Affairs (September/October 2003) found the rate of growth was far below that for total foundation giving or giving for health.

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