Impressions of the Clubhouse International USA Conference 2020

By Clubhouse Members Erik and Brent

Our names are Erik and Brent and we are Chrysalis consumers and founding members of the Chrysalis Clubhouse. We are here to share our experience of the Clubhouse International USA Conference that took place on October 8-9, 2020 to learn more about the Clubhouse model and how Clubhouses function. 

 We attended the following several workshops that focused on evolving the Clubhouse model to fit our individual needs: 

1. Clubhouse Supported Education: innovative strategies for helping members achieve their goals. 

2. What is a Clubhouse? An Orientation to the Clubhouse Model. 

3. Clubhouse Reach Out: evolving, enhancing, and expanding our practice.

4. Wellness & Social Programming: Staying safe, healthy, and connected during these complicated times. 

5. Clubhouses in the Digital Age: how technology can expand the Clubhouse experience?

6. Social Justice: How your Clubhouse can be part of the change we wish to see?

These are our overall impressions of the conference: 

1. What do you like about the Clubhouse model? 

Brent: It’s an inclusive model, voluntary, relationship based; not like a mental health clinic and all members of the Clubhouse have an opportunity to participate in all work done by the Clubhouse. The Clubhouse is not work specific; members always are part of the decision-making process. 

Erik: I like the fact that it’s very open and transparent and that everyone has a say in what’s going on in the Clubhouse. 

2. Do you feel inspired by attending this conference? 

Erik: Yes. I’m just glad to be a part of the Clubhouse movement in general. I love reaching out to other people at different stages in their own Clubhouses; to established Clubhouses and how they interact with Clubhouses like ours. It was an eye-opening experience to get the support from other Clubhouses. 

Brent: Yes. I want to focus on the future of the Clubhouse after we’ve established it. I want to focus on the great lack of mental health and other support in the rural communities. I believe building a hybrid Clubhouse to be more inclusive and important in embracing the rural communities. 

3. What are your key takeaways from the conference? 

Brent: My key takeaway is that Clubhouses are more complex than they seem.

Erik: The Clubhouse model is flexible to the needs of its members. 

4. What is one thing that you take to Chrysalis from the conference?

Erik: I’ve learned a lot about the Clubhouse model and how to implement it in my own Clubhouse. I feel very good about the support that we encountered and feel as though I have a very strong basis on which to build the Clubhouse. 

Brent: I learned how to engage new and existing members with the idea of mutual support. I would like to work toward a better understanding of the Clubhouse model and how to expand the Clubhouse.

Photo: Clubhouse colleagues during a Zoom meeting.