The Infinity House, a Clubhouse program sponsored and supported by Hamilton Center Inc., will be seeking Clubhouse International Accreditation beginning in July of 2018. The program, located in Terre Haute IN, is a membership driven organization that exists to give adults with mental illnesses the opportunity to live meaningful and productive lives by helping each person integrate into their community including employment. Infinity House is peer driven; it is managed, facilitated and organized by members for members. It promotes socialization, engagement, and skills building which are areas that many individuals recovering from mental health issues lack in their lives.
The program is based on a “Work Ordered Day” which begins with a 9:00 am meeting designed to share information about responsibilities and goals of the Infinity House for that day. Members volunteer for responsibilities within the Clubhouse in order for everyone to meet those goals. Daily responsibilities include clerical, food services, maintenance, bookkeeping, tours, housekeeping, gardening, yard work, and assisting in planning special activities and projects. The Work Ordered Day mirrors a typical business day; all responsibilities are completed daily with encouragements and assistance from a few staff on site.
The Clubhouse model is an evidence-based practice that creates a peer driven environment for the members. The only qualifications for being a member is being 18 years or older and having a history of mental health issues. There are no fees and a membership never expires. It is for life.
Achieving accreditation will demonstrate the organization’s ability to meet national standards set forth by Clubhouse International. Inclusion, regular activities and access to housing are some of the key functions of a Clubhouse and what make it valuable to its members’ lives. The accreditation process sets standards of effectiveness and usefulness that must be met on behalf of its members to ensure quality service. Clubhouse International identifies mental illnesses as a leading cause of disability and that one in four people around the world suffer from mental disorders, more than cancer, diabetes or heart disease. The organization also identifies isolation as a major cause of the progression of mental illnesses. Isolation occurs often when individuals feel they don’t fit in with society or are too afraid to face rejection and the many social stigmas of mental illness. Individuals will stop connecting with friends, stay inside more frequently, and seek a safe controlled environment. Furthermore, Isolation leads to loneliness and many other negative thoughts which are not in any way healthy for humans to experience for long uninterrupted periods of time ultimately leading to more severe mental illnesses.
The original Clubhouse was founded in New York in the 1940s and is still operational today. It was founded by two men who had recently been released form a mental health facility. Upon release they found themselves with no financial means, no social or family support, and no access to mental health care. The two men established Fountain House which grew into what we know today as Clubhouse International. Established from this effort are the evidence base models that are the foundation to the program today which are based in the philosophy that individuals can recover from mental illnesses and lead social, employed, and active lives by experiencing the right therapeutic environment.
Hamilton Center, Inc. is a regional behavioral health system in Central and West Central Indiana with corporate offices located in Terre Haute, IN. Services are provided to children, youth and adults, with specialized programs for expectant mothers, infants, and people who may be struggling with stress, life changes, or relationship issues as well as more serious problems such as depression, anxiety disorders, and serious mental illnesses.
The Infinity House is a part of Clubhouse International and a growing function in serving the mentally ill population. The Infinity House promotes inclusion, engagement, and community with the purpose of creating a sense of belonging for each member. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday 8 am to 4 pm with lunch served at noon every day.
For information on Hamilton Center Services call (800) 742-0787.