FROM DISABILITY TO EMPLOYMENT: Putnam Clubhouse

What is a clubhouse?

A clubhouse is a welcoming community where adults recovering from mental illness come to rebuild their lives. Participants—called members, not patients or clients or consumers—share ownership and responsibility for the success of their own program. More than 330 clubhouses around the world follow a set of 36 standards overseen by Clubhouse International (iccd.org) that support members in their recovery. Clubhouse participation has been shown to improve employment outcomes and well-being while reducing hospitalization and homelessness. Recovery is achieved at a clubhouse through work and work-mediated relationships, which are proven to be restorative and provide a firm foundation for growth, self-respect, and individual achievement. Members work in a unique partnership with their peers and a small trained staff, building on personal strengths instead of focusing on illness.

What do members do at Putnam Clubhouse?

Putnam Clubhouse provides an accepting place to spend the day, valuable work to perform within the organization, opportunities to socialize, health and wellness activities, expressive arts programming, and access to education and paid employment within the wider community. Putnam Clubhouse mirrors a typical work environment during weekday hours to provide the opportunity for members to regain their endurance and confidence while engaged in every aspect of running the Clubhouse—from clerical to cooking, from daily planning to serving on the board of directors. Recreational and social activities are provided two evenings each week and on some weekends. Participation is voluntary, at no cost to members, and available for ongoing support to adult residents of Contra Costa County who meet membership criteria.

What career services are provided?

Putnam Clubhouse provides support to those interested in attending school or finding paid work through various opportunities, including transitional employment (T.E.), assistance with setting and reaching personal goals, career dinners, and workshops. Career services include one-on-one time during which hands-on help is available with resumes, the job search, enrolling in school, and anything else needed to achieve goals. Regular career dinners are held to support members who are employed but still want to be stay connected with the Clubhouse community once they are unable attend the work-ordered day program.

What is a T.E.?

A T.E. is a transitional employment opportunity that provides members with part-time, paid employment at an area business for a six to nine months. A T.E. placement helps ease people back into employment who in some cases have never worked or have not held a job in some time.

What education services are provided?

Putnam Clubhouse helps the membership meet educational goals, including assistance with signing up for college or GED classes, help apply for financial aid, and providing a quiet place for members to study.

How can you join Putnam Clubhouse?

All eligible people are welcome to join Putnam Clubhouse if they are Contra Costa County residents 18 years or older who meet other requirements for membership. For complete membership criteria or to begin the application process, call the Clubhouse for assistance at (925) 691-4276 or click here for more information and to download the paperwork.

What advice does Putnam Clubhouse have for people trying to return to work?

Employment and education are vital parts of mental health recovery. The Clubhouse believes that each person with a mental illness can build a meaningful and productive life.