New Clubhouse opening in Pierce County

The Progress House Association Joins WA State Mental Health Initiative 

As part of Governor Inslee’s renewed focus on mental health, the Progress House Association has received a state grant to open a Clubhouse in Pierce County. The new Clubhouse in Pierce County, and new Clubhouses being developed for Kitsap and Yakima Counties, will join over 300 accredited facilities worldwide which offer those suffering from the symptoms of severe mental illness a pathway back to paid work and independent living. There are currently Clubhouses in Spokane, Seattle, and Belleview. A site for Pierce County’s Clubhouse has not yet been confirmed, but Executive Director Heidi Graff is working with PHA to secure an appropriate location, convenient to public transportation. The Progress House Association Clubhouse hopes to open doors early in 2019.

The psychosocial rehabilitation available at Clubhouses is free for members. PHA is working with local mental health care providers and facilities to develop a referral system, but anyone who suffers from mental illness is eligible for membership. Clubhouse membership does not replace pharmaceutical regimens or clinical hospitalizations; rather, Clubhouses work with those modes of care to support mental health using evidence-based practices that prevent crisis and rehabilitate members. Evidence is growing that Clubhouse membership drastically cuts re-hospitalization rates, incarceration rates, and homelessness among those who suffer from severe mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder, and major depression. According to research done under the auspices of the NIH, 42% more Clubhouse members find employment than those in the general population of those experiencing severe mental illness.

Tacoma’s first Clubhouse, Rose House, operated until 2010, but fell victim to the national economic contraction since it was dependent upon state funding from property taxes. Executive Director Heidi Graff is building a diverse funding stream of public, foundation, and private donor sources to ensure the new Clubhouse will remain on solid financial footing. Planning Partner Peach McDouall will present an informational event, ‘What’s a Clubhouse?’ at the Moore Branch of the Tacoma Public Library on Tuesday, February 5, to allow residents to learn about how they can participate in planning. For more information about Pierce County’s new Clubhouse, readers can contact Executive Director Graff at 253-593-2845 extension 226 or email heidigraff@progresshouse.us. To learn more about the upcoming event, email peachmcdouall@progresshouse.us or follow the Progress Clubhouse Planning Group on Facebook.

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The Progress House Association has worked in the Tacoma community for almost 50 years, enabling people to transition from incarceration to independence and gainful employment. This is a new direction for PHA, but COO Cynthia Fedrick sees this as a natural and important offshoot of their decades-long mission. Contact Heidi Graff or Peach McDouall for information about this press release.

      – Progress House Association

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