Supporting clubhouse members in their role as parents: necessary conditions for policy and practice initiatives

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Psychiatry; Clinical and Population Health Research; and Center for Mental Health Services Research;

Publication Date


Document Type



Adult; Child; Child of Impaired Parents; Community Mental Health Services; Cooperative Behavior; Education; Focus Groups; Health Plan Implementation; *Health Policy; Humans; Interdisciplinary Communication; Interinstitutional Relations; Massachusetts; Mental Disorders; Patient Care Team; Pilot Projects; Rehabilitation, Vocational; Resource Allocation; Self-Help Groups; Social Work, Psychiatric




OBJECTIVE: Given that the majority of adults with mental illness are parents, it is likely that a substantial number of members in the Clubhouse community are parents. Supporting members in their role as parents presents meaningful, philosophical and practical challenges for both individual Clubhouses and the Clubhouse movement. Supporting parents within the Clubhouse, however, is a necessary and logical step, consistent with the Clubhouse emphasis on rehabilitation and recovery. The current study explored the conditions necessary for supporting members in the parenting role in an existing Clubhouse.

METHODS: A grounded-theory, ethnographic approach was used to collect data from multiple stakeholders including Clubhouse members, staff, and Board of Directors. A total of nine focus groups with 30 participants were conducted.

RESULTS: Five themes emerged reflecting the conditions necessary to support parents in the Clubhouse: 1) securing stakeholder buy-in; 2) identification of shared values and principles; 3) clarification about how supporting parents will affect current Clubhouse activities; 4) facilitation of ongoing communication about changes; and 5) exploration of opportunities to maximize resources to support all Clubhouse members.

CONCLUSIONS: Findings confirm the philosophical desirability and practical feasibility of supporting members in the parenting role, and identify fundamental challenges to philosophy and practice raised by the paradigm shift from thinking about individuals to thinking about families.

DOI of Published Version



Psychiatr Rehabil J. 2009 Fall;33(2):98-105. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Psychiatric rehabilitation journal

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID