Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation
Journal articles

The Clubhouse model for people with severe mental illnesses: Literature review and French experiment

Résumé : AIM: The aim of this article is 1) to present the Clubhouse (CH) Model and the first French CH, and 2) study the empirical background on the efficiency of the CH concerning employment, quality of life and hospitalization for people with mental illness. HISTORICAL, THEORETICAL AND INSTITUTIONAL BACKGROUND: The first Clubhouse was created sixty years ago in the U.S. The Clubhouse model of psychosocial rehabilitation is a program that offers to people with mental illness support and opportunities to find a job and return to a normal social life. The Clubhouse model has been built over the years thanks to the experiences of members and staff. It is based on "36 standards" (rules which each Clubhouse follows in order to attain its goals). Supported by associations and families of people with mental illness, health professionals, and the international federation of Clubhouses (Clubhouse International), the first Clubhouse in France has opened in November 2011. This non-medicalized association and its co-management by both members and staff are innovative in France. The aims of the Clubhouse are founded on the concept of empowerment and "peer-help", and on the fight against isolation and stigmatization. Clubhouses offer day-programs which allow people with mental illness to have a sense of community and a useful purpose within the association. Indeed, the salaried management team is voluntarily understaffed so that the participation of members is necessary and so that they can benefit from the opportunities for useful activity within the Clubhouse, developing a real opportunity of empowerment. METHOD: In order to study the efficiency of CH, we conducted a systematic review of publications on CH, first in the database of Club House International (500 publications) and second, in the scientific data base (Psycinfo, Psycarticles, Academic Search Premier, Medline et Science Direct) (205 publications included in the 500). We identified 64 scientific studies. We have selected 28 of them that focused on the variable: employment, quality of life and hospitalisation. RESULTS: Clubhouses have shown their effectiveness regarding employment, quality of life and hospitalization. Indeed, several studies compare Clubhouses with other programs of psychosocial rehabilitation. The results have demonstrated that Clubhouses' members: find more salaried work, find jobs of higher quality, have a better quality of life and face fewer hospitalizations, than people in other psychosocial rehabilitation programs. DISCUSSION: We discuss the interest of the CH in France using the experiment of the CH in Paris. This experiment in providing an innovative place of support, mutual aid, and autonomy is currently successful in France. Over 18 months, a team of 65 members and 3 staff members has come together. This enthusiasm is probably due to the fact that the Clubhouse in Paris is a place which helps people with mental illness establish a daily rhythm, social usefulness and affective links, all essential for recovery, in a context different from the usual medically supervised care in other settings: people are treated as individuals rather than as "sick persons" or "patients". This article discusses the benefits of this new model of psychosocial rehabilitation in France, by presenting the originality and complimentarity of this concept, in comparison with other health structures.
Complete list of metadatas
Contributor : Administrateur Hal Nanterre <>
Submitted on : Friday, July 21, 2017 - 11:34:02 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, November 19, 2019 - 9:53:01 AM



Cyrille Bouvet, Clémence Battin, C. Le Roy-Hattala. The Clubhouse model for people with severe mental illnesses: Literature review and French experiment. L'Encéphale, Elsevier Masson, 2015, 41 (6), pp.477--486. ⟨10.1016/j.encep.2014.09.001⟩. ⟨hal-01566712⟩



Record views