Clubhouse Standards


  1. Membership is voluntary and without time limits.

  2. The Clubhouse has control over its acceptance of new members. Membership is open to anyone with a history of mental illness, unless that person poses a significant and current threat to the general safety of the Clubhouse community.

  3. Members choose the way they utilize the Clubhouse, and the staff with whom they work.

  4. All members have equal access to every Clubhouse opportunity with no differentiation based on diagnosis or level of functioning.

  5. Members at their choice are involved in the writing of all records reflecting their participation in the Clubhouse.

  6. Members have a right to immediate re-entry into the Clubhouse community after any length of absence, unless their return poses a significant and current threat to the Clubhouse community.

  7. The Clubhouse provides an effective outreach system to members who are not attending, becoming isolated in the community or hospitalized.



  1. All Clubhouse meetings are open to both members and staff. There are no formal member only meetings or formal staff only meetings where program decisions and member issues are discussed.

  2. Clubhouse staff are sufficient to engage the membership, yet few enough to make carrying out their responsibilities impossible without member involvement.

  3. Clubhouse staff have generalist roles. All staff share employment, housing, evening and weekend, holiday and unit responsibilities. Clubhouse staff do not divide their time between Clubhouse and other major work responsibilities that conflict with the unique nature of member/staff relationships.

  4. Responsibility for the operation of the Clubhouse lies with the members and staff and ultimately with the Clubhouse director. Central to this responsibility is the engagement of members and staff in all aspects of Clubhouse operation.


  1. The Clubhouse has its own identity, including its own name, mailing address and telephone number.

  2. The Clubhouse is located in its own physical space. It is separate from any institutional setting and is designed to facilitate the work-ordered day. The Clubhouse is designed to be attractive, adequate in size, and convey a sense of respect and dignity.

  3. All Clubhouse space is member and staff accessible.

Work-ordered day

1. The work-ordered day engages members and staff together, side-by-side, in the running of the Clubhouse. The Clubhouse focuses on strengths, talents and abilities; therefore, the work-ordered day must not include medication clinics, day treatment or therapy programs within the Clubhouse.

4. The Clubhouse is organized into one or more work units, each of which has sufficient staff, members and meaningful work to sustain a full and engaging work-ordered day. Unit meetings are held to foster relationships as well as to organize and plan the work of the day.



2. The work done in the Clubhouse is exclusively the work generated by the Clubhouse in the operation and enhancement of the Clubhouse community. No work for outside individuals or agencies, whether for pay or not, is acceptable work in the Clubhouse. Members are not paid for any Clubhouse work, nor are there any artificial reward systems.

5. All work in the Clubhouse is designed to help members regain self worth, purpose and confidence.
3. The Clubhouse is open at least five days a week. The work-ordered day parallels typical working hours.

6. Members have the opportunity to participate in all the work of the Clubhouse, including administration, research, enrollment and orientation, outreach, hiring, training and evaluation of staff, public relations, advocacy and evaluation of Clubhouse effectiveness.