Clubhouses serve as a valuable augmentation to mental health treatment services for individuals grappling with Serious Mental Illness (SMI) and/or Substance Use Disorder (SUD). The Clubhouse model, a well-recognized approach to social rehabilitation, plays a crucial role in supporting SMI patients. It works to alleviate isolation, foster self-assurance, and cultivate skills for more effective life management. Worldwide there are over 300 Clubhouses catering to SMI, but only a handful are associated with safety net providers such as Westside. Presently, there are no other similar services offered within San Francisco.
We have been working towards further integrating the Clubhouse model into the variety of services currently offered. Since March, we've been nurturing a Peer Planning Group composed of individuals receiving care at our Crisis Clinic who are interested in developing a Westside Clubhouse. These individuals show a keen interest in taking on proactive leadership roles in shaping the Clubhouse experience. Starting in July, the group meets weekly, engaging in various activities including educational talks facilitated by subject matter experts, culinary demonstrations, art sessions, and karaoke. All activities stem from member suggestions and preferences. Our pursuit involves continually expanding leadership roles and creating avenues for members to partake in the planning and operational aspects of the group. Attendance at each meeting varies, with around 10-15 members joining regularly.
Additionally, we have gathered demographic information from our members, revealing that 70 percent fall within the age range of 30 to 59 years, while 30 percent are aged 60 or older. In terms of gender identification, 40 percent identify as female, 50 percent as male, and 10 percent as transgender. Our membership also reflects a diverse racial and ethnic composition, with 40 percent being African American, 20 percent White, 20 percent Indigenous, 10 percent Asian, and 10 percent Latinx.
Our aspirations revolve around the further refinement and enlargement of the current Peer Planning Group. This expansion aims to offer multi-day programming and extend membership opportunities beyond the present Westside patient base. Regrettably, our current capacity remains constrained by funding limitations. We are actively exploring avenues to enhance our capacity, facilitating a higher attendance rate at meetings, and broadening daily operational scope.