ABOUT THE MA CLUBHOUSE COALITION
The Massachusetts Clubhouse Coalition is dedicated to expanding employment, housing, educational, social, and leadership opportunities available to Massachusetts citizens who have a mental illness. The MCC was organized to uphold and promote the values, principles and financial integrity of the international Clubhouse model toward the empowerment of people with mental health needs. Toward this purpose the MCC will take action, advocate, provide support, and offer opportunities to network and educate ourselves and the community while working as an organization to remove barriers to successful community integration. The Massachusetts Clubhouse Coalition is committed to helping Clubhouses and individual Clubhouse members reach their full potential.
Dedicated to assisting adults with major mental illness to live full, productive, stable lives in the community, the MCC is a non-profit organization whose membership includes more than 15,000 Massachusetts residents who have a major mental illness, and belong to at least one of the 32 community-based vocational and social rehabilitation centers, called “Clubhouses”. Membership in the MCC is awarded to Clubhouses (and their members and staff) which achieve certification from the International Center for Clubhouse Development (ICCD) ensuring the quality of services provided by these rehabilitation centers.
The MCC helps its member Clubhouses expand rehabilitative opportunities and services for employment, housing, education, health, peer support and mental health care. It also helps individual members develop the leadership skills that enable them to participate fully in life – not only at the Clubhouse, but also in the community. The MCC works to remove obstacles to gaining employment, an education and housing in the community and helps to diminish the stigma of living with a mental illness by engaging in educational endeavors. Operating as a clearinghouse of information, a provider of technical assistance, a vehicle for organizing and a coordinator of services and resources for Clubhouses across Massachusetts, the goals of the MCC are:
- Work in partnership with local employers to increase employment opportunities for Coalition members through education and system change.
- Increase local opportunities for members to gain an education.
- Utilize educational approaches to increase affordable housing opportunities for members.
- Organize and advocate for access to health care, dental care, substance abuse services for individuals with a major mental illness.
- Provide leadership development opportunities for individual members through formal training, conferences and by encouraging and developing leadership towards participation in activities that influence public policy and on-the-job learning through leadership activities within individual Clubhouses and the community.
Participation in the clubhouse is free to those who have a serious and persistent mental illness. The Clubhouses are funded with state tax dollars via the Department of Mental Health. Clubhouses are founded on the belief that rehabilitation for people who are working to recover from the effects of mental illness is greatly facilitated when individuals participate in meaningful work, including paid employment. As such, the cornerstone of Clubhouse programming is a three-tiered approach to helping people with mental illness gain employment: Transitional Employment (TE), Supported Employment (SE), and Independent Employment (IE). In each type of employment, professional Clubhouse staff people (who may or may not have a mental illness) serve as coaches for members as they go through the process of securing and maintaining gainful employment. The MCC has helped Clubhouses develop TE and SE jobs locally with many companies, including such employers as Trader Joe’s, New England Mobile Ex-Ray, the Massachusetts Behavioral Health Partnership, the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health, The TJX Companies (stores include A.J. Wright, the Bob’s Stores, HomeGoods, Marshalls, and TJ Maxx) and CVS. MCC Member Clubhouses have TE and SE jobs with over 440 companies in Massachusetts.
The MCC is one of the largest and most successful Clubhouse coalitions in the world with 30 ICCD certified Clubhouses in its network, insuring the quality of services set forth by the International body and provided by the Clubhouse. There are more ICCD certified Clubhouses in Massachusetts than in any other state in the nation and than any other country outside the United States. Clubhouse coalitions across the nation model their coalitions after the MCC because of the MCC’s success in bringing the quality of its member Clubhouses to a level that meets rigorous standards set by the International Clubhouse community. In addition, the MCC has been able to demonstrate to policy-makers the enormous value of spending tax resources on the Clubhouse model by proving our ability to help members gain employment and remain integrated and stable in the communities.