The Model

The Clubhouse Model of mental illness recovery

This evidence-based recovery model of psychiatric rehabilitation delivers:

  • Contributions to the community as productive citizens and taxpayers.
  • Empowerment of citizens with a serious mental illness to successfully live meaningful lives and stay employed in the community, regardless of the nature of their illness.
  • Participation in community life with full rights and access to the same worlds of personal growth, friendship, housing, education, and meaningful employment that the rest of society has access to.

The workforce includes many individuals who are eager to work, but who have mental illness disabilities that are stigmatized and therefore contribute to isolation. Medical school research demonstrates that recovery/rehabilitation from the major mental illnesses is grounded on self-empowerment derived from meaningful work. The program we utilize is a widely recognized and well-tested evidence-based model that has been internationally proven to be highly effective in reintegration/rehabilitation for persons living with serious mental illnesses.

This model demonstrates that people with a serious mental illness can successfully live productive lives and work competitively in the community, regardless of the nature or severity of their illness. Gainesville Opportunity Center, Inc is founded on the Clubhouse International model. Programs under this model are certified by rigorous standards set by Clubhouse International.

Recovery from a serious mental illness must involve the whole person in a vital and culturally sensitive community. The participants contribute to the community as they grow. The Gainesville Opportunity Center community offers respect, hope, mutuality and unlimited opportunity to access the same worlds of friendship, housing, education and employment as the rest of society.

In the model, participants are called ‘members’, not patients, and the focus is on their strengths not their illness. Work in the program-whether it is clerical, data input, meal preparation or reaching out to their fellow members-provides the core healing process. Every opportunity provided is the result of the efforts of the members and small professional staff, who work side by side in a unique partnership. Membership and participation are voluntary.

One of the most important steps members take toward greater independence is outside employment, where they work in the community at real jobs. Members also receive help in securing housing, advancing their education, obtaining good psychiatric and medical care, and maintaining government benefits. Membership is for life, so members have all the time they need to secure their new life in the community.

The employment of people with mental illnesses helps employers fill job openings and contributes to society through the return of paid taxes and Social Security, as well as reduced use of government health and disability benefits.

Employers who have hired individuals with mental illnesses report that their attendance and punctuality exceed the norm, and that their motivation, work quality, and job tenure is as good as or better than that of other employees.

For more videos of our members and their work, see GOC VIdeos