Clubhouse Europe

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Our Mission

To promote the continuous development and dissemination of the Clubhouse Model in Europe, as defined by Clubhouse International's Standards for Clubhouse Programs.

 

Our Vision

To increase the opportunities for current and former users of mental health services in European countries to recover their mental health by providing the empowering and supporting communitiesfound at Clubhouses.

 

Dear Colleagues!

The Board of Clubhouse Europe asks your support for a new policy of the association.

We want to concentrate all our energy and resources on one topic and that is advocacy for clubhouses and the Clubhouse Model on a European scale.  To achieve this we want to set up a small team (maximum 8 persons) which will work constantly on one goal: to make the clubhouses and the Clubhouse Model well known in Europe as a major contribution to the wellbeing for people suffering from mental illness.

Possible activities of the group are:

  • Joining European conferences on Mental Health, Employment and Education, Social Inclusion for presentations and networking.
  • Setting up meetings with representatives from European family and mental health organizations.
  • Organize presentations for or talks with EU policy makers, EU politicians and EU staff.
  • Building up relationships with all kind of individuals who can support the further dissemination of Clubhouses in Europe.

 

These are activities that a single Clubhouse, coalition and Clubhouse International can’t undertake. To be successful in Europe you need an official European organization to get access to important organizations, conferences, governments, EU and other relevant institutes and authorities. Our advocacy will be an activity which influences decisions within political, economic and social systems in favor of the Clubhouse Model and the dissemination of Clubhouses in Europe.

Clubhouse Europe is an official European association of Clubhouses and can speak on behalf of them. The more Clubhouses and Clubhouse Coalitions become members, the stronger and more unified our voice becomes.

From the start of Clubhouse Europe in 2011 till the last year's Clubhouse Seminar in Amsterdam we have been busy with setting up a European organization with exactly the same objectives as Clubhouse International. We dreamed about a global coordination by Clubhouse International and a regional (European) body by Clubhouse Europe, but last year we concluded that this strategy does not work. It worked out to be confusing to the clubhouses and few had the resources to support a new international Clubhouse organization.

 

Colleagues, if you want to support this new policy of Clubhouse Europe you can do this in several ways:

  • Become a member of Clubhouse Europe. The fee is only € 100 a year for a clubhouse. At this moment only 25% of the European clubhouses are paying members.
  • Give your comments on this new approach. At the end of September 2017 the Board will make the final decision. We organize a meeting on the World Seminar in Detroit for the present European Clubhouses. Till that time you can send in your comments and ideas to: clubhouse.europe.chair@gmail.com

 

In the meantime the Board is looking for people who are able to join the advocacy team. This team will be a working group of Clubhouse Europe and the members of this working group will be assigned by the Board. It is the Board which is accountable to the members of Clubhouse Europe for the actions and the composition of the team.

We are looking for people who:

  • believe in the future of Clubhouses and the Clubhouse Model in Europe
  • speak English or can overcome the language barrier in another way
  • are a great supporter of the Clubhouse Model
  • will work as a team player
  • will accept that the work for the working group is without fee
  • have strong communication skills
  • are aware that advocacy work is for the long term
  • can think on a strategic level

 

It’s difficult to estimate how much time you have to spend on this type of work. You have to meet the right people at the right time at the right place. Because it’s voluntarily work, we understand that in most cases the available time is limited. The group has to meet per year once or twice in person (e.g. in combination with a seminar). The rest of the communication will be organized through internet[1]. Besides these team meetings you have to engage with 3 to 4 meetings with relevant people in person. You have to account for at least 4 to 5 working days a year besides the time spent on reading, communication, writing etc. An important limitation for the work of the team is the budget of Clubhouse Europe, which is one of the reasons to make the group not too big. Of course Clubhouse Europe wants to cover the expenses needed for activities of the team. It must be clear that member participation is a condition.

If you know good candidates for this important advocacy work, please let us know, also to clubhouse.europe.chair@gmail.com

It’s important to know that we look at Europe in an organic way.  Besides the countries which belong traditionally to Europe, the continent and the United Kingdom, we also consider to be European countries which have a strong involvement with them: the countries in Eastern Europe including Russia and the countries around the Mediterranean Sea.

Let’s make Clubhouse Europe a powerful tool for Clubhouses in Europe to strengthen Clubhouses, disseminate them and to implement the Clubhouse Model in all countries of Europe!

Warm Regards,

On behalf of the Board,

Wander Reitsma,

Chair of Clubhouse Europe

[1] Fountain House New York is willing to support Clubhouse Europe with the sophisticated Cisco Webex application to make high standard videoconferencing possible.