Bringing a Brain Injury Clubhouse to Your Community
Create a Work Group
Assemble a working group of a variety of stakeholders who have time, passion and knowledge to develop a Brain Injury Clubhouse. Having at least three different types of stakeholders in the working group is important to hold each other accountable for garnering community support and keeping the process moving forward. Choose a facilitator and schedule regular meetings even if you feel stuck. This is going to be hard but rewarding work and it is important for the group to stay focused. Remember that you are starting a business and a program that other people will come to depend on. Too many early Clubhouse attempts have failed because people did not do the diligent work required to adhere to the program model. One of the first steps in your due diligence can be to…
Visit a Clubhouse Accredited by Clubhouse International or CARF
Clubhouses accredited by Clubhouse International serve people with mental illness and are a wealth of information about the unique culture of this partnership model. There are thirteen Brain Injury (BI) Clubhouses in the US that are accredited by the Commission for the Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). Take 3 or more stakeholders and spend at least a whole day in a strong Clubhouse to get a feel for the model and to determine whether it will meet the needs of your community. The Clubhouse community is a generous group with a passion and commitment to helping all people living with BI gain access to a Clubhouse if they want it. As you can imagine, Clubhouses are very busy places. We welcome your questions and a visit, but due to other ongoing commitments, we may not have time to train each group individually within a specific Clubhouse. However, the IBICA community will work with groups who have completed their due diligence and demonstrate the necessary commitment and resources to open a Clubhouse program.
Once your working group has gained traction and determined the feasibility of supporting a BI Clubhouse in your area, consider participating in a New Clubhouse Development Training conducted by Clubhouse International and offered a few times each year around the world. If your group is interested, please contact Cindi Johnson: firstname.lastname@example.org who will help you assess your readiness for attending such a workshop, help identify any preliminary steps you might want to take to make the best use of your working group’s time and resources, and then connect you with Clubhouse International leadership to pursue enrolling in a 2 1/2-day training. It is certainly not necessary to attend a New Clubhouse Development Training but is invaluable in helping you develop action plans that are much more likely to result in the successful opening of a Clubhouse-model program. You will be assigned a mentor for a year following the training who will likely be an IBICA Clubhouse Director.
Once the infrastructure of the new Clubhouse is established, it will be important to engage staff and members in immersion training of the Clubhouse model itself which focuses on members and staff working side-by-side as colleagues to run the Clubhouse- a much different approach than the familiar medical model of brain injury rehabilitation.