World Health Organization Includes Clubhouse Model as Example of Rights-based Approach to Recovery-focused Mental Health Services

New York, NY, June 10, 2021 – Clubhouse International welcomes and supports the launch of the World Health Organization (WHO) Guidance on community mental health services: Promoting person-centered and rights-based approaches. We are pleased that the Clubhouse Model of psychosocial rehabilitation is included in the WHO guidance and technical packages.

Clubhouse International Training Center, Phoenix Clubhouse in Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, is identified as an example of community-based mental health services that are following good practices which provide quality care and support and are aligned with international standards for a rights-based approach to recovery.

The purpose of the WHO guidance is to provide information, direction and examples to stakeholders and governments to develop or transform their mental health system and services with the ultimate aim of promoting, inspiring and scaling-up person-centered, recovery-oriented and rights-based, community services around the world. The WHO guidance calls on governments to substantially increase the budget for mental health within health and social protection sectors, and to promote services that interface with social programming and supports and the accountability mechanisms and processes to make that happen. This landmark guidance represents a critical milestone in supporting mental health reform efforts and is timely to ensure that we build back better in the aftermath of COVID-19.

Many people living with a mental health condition still lack access to quality services that respond to their needs and respect their rights and dignity. Community-based services, such as ones cited in the WHO guidance and technical packages including the Clubhouse Model, address many of these challenges by providing resources and opportunities of recovery such as gainful employment, education, wellness, socialization and so much more.

Phoenix Clubhouse is a strong example of a comprehensive, community-based, person-centered mental health service that operates without coercion, is responsive to people’s needs and supports recovery for people with lived experience of a mental illness. The Clubhouse demonstrates the importance of the linkages with education, employment and social protection sectors, ensuring that people with mental health conditions are included in the community and are able to lead full and meaningful lives. The WHO’s inclusion of Phoenix Clubhouse and the Clubhouse Model of psychosocial rehabilitation in its landmark guidance is an important validation for the 326 Clubhouse programs in our network around the world. We believe this guidance will be transformative for all countries seeking to make progress with community mental health services.” Joel D. Corcoran, Executive Director & CEO, Clubhouse International


Clubhouse International is a global organization working to end social and economic isolation for people with mental illness, through its network of 326 Clubhouses in 31 countries. Clubhouses offer resources and opportunities for recovery through friendship, employment, education, wellness, and social programs.

Media inquiries: Anna Sackett Rountree
(716) 302-4307

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