Social connection is necessary for mental wellness. Read how Capital Clubhouse Inc. fits it into their purpose.
Treated Symptoms, Now What?
After a clinical treatment program, many people dealing with mental illness say that finding a sense of belonging and purpose is their biggest challenge. This is especially true if they're one of the millions of Americans today living alone. That’s why some community mental health services have adopted the Clubhouse Model, an evidence-based approach that helps people with mental illness rejoin society.
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What Capital Clubhouse Inc. Believes
One of the benefits of the Clubhouse model is that it fosters social connectedness between its staff, members and volunteers. Research has shown that Clubhouse members are more likely to report having close and supportive friendships than people who receive other mental health services. Social connectedness is crucial for mental health recovery, as it reduces isolation, loneliness, and stigma, and increases self-esteem, coping skills, and resilience.
"Talking with other people, even about some dumb shit, helps stabilize me, a lot. I never got that respect on the street."
This was the founding belief of Capital Clubhouse Inc., which continues to bring mental health consumers out of solitude and into a caring community every day. A member who wishes to remain anonymous recounted the struggle of being alone in a crowded place thus highlighting the need for community: "When you ask for help in public, and you're homeless, people be embarrassed of you or annoyed. Most [people] don't talk to you, and the ones that do usually talk to you like a child or something. That's when you start getting real paranoid, like crazy thoughts telling you they know about you. And nobodies around to tell you, 'that's in your head.' So that's why I go to day programs. Talking with other people, even about some dumb shit, helps stabilize me, a lot. I never got that respect on the street."
Achieving Goals Happens Together
It has long been understood that success is hard to come by alone and is much easier with the help of other people. It's the reason we network, or work on teams, or seek mentors. Part of the reason social connectedness is crucial for mental health is because it helps people to work on their goals as a group which in turn increases the likelihood that these goals get accomplished. Seeing that progress, having something to take pride in, and making something in their life, even with a debilitating illness, can lead to great personal fulfillment.
One member of Capital Clubhouse, Jon, who is also a board member, says that the Clubhouse has helped him overcome the isolation associated with mental illness and move forward with his life. “Capital Clubhouse encourages me to ignore the loneliness associated with mental illness and move forward with my life. It allows me to meet daily with members and staff, who challenge me to meet my goals,” he says.
Recovery Is Possible
The Capital Clubhouse Inc. model is proving to be a valuable asset in the mental health system, as it provides a cost-effective, recovery-oriented, and person-centered alternative to traditional services. By creating a community of support and empowerment for people with mental illness, this model helps would be solitary people to lead lives full of social connection and friends!
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