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

Beth R. Hinden, University of Massachusetts Medical School
Toni Wolf, Employment Options Inc
Kathleen Biebel, University of Massachusetts Medical School
Joanne Nicholson, University of Massachusetts Medical School

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

Beth R. Hinden, Toni Wolf, Kathleen Biebel, and Joanne Nicholson. "Supporting clubhouse members in their role as parents: necessary conditions for policy and practice initiatives" Psychiatric rehabilitation journal 33.2 (2009).
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/joanne_nicholson/15