Of the 200 accredited clubhouses across the country, only three exist in Texas. That is about to change.
SAN ANTONIO — What happens at the Clubhouse, isn’t new, but it is unique.
“Other services are focused on illness. We focus on what strengths and abilities are. We practice unconditional love and acceptance,” said Mark Stoeltje.
This is where people living with mental illness learn how to lead independent, successful lives.
Simple tasks that can help them get jobs, keep an apartment, or even stay out of jail.
Of the 200 accredited clubhouses across the country, only three exist in Texas.
That is about to change.
Stoeltje added, “We have a thirteen year history in San Antonio and we want to share this model with other communities in Texas.”
Community leaders from across the state are in San Antonio to study the program.
They hope to re-create its success back home.
Andi Watson from San Angelo MHMR saw the difference right away.
“I fell in love with the program,” said Watson of the San Angelo MHMR.
Watson continued, “We build those strengths, we forget about the mental illness and we build the strengths.”
She’s leading the way to building a clubhouse back home.
Watson said the stigma behind mental illness is finally changing.
She said it’s obvious at every level.
In the last session, the Texas legislature approved more than a million dollars for the creation of more clubhouses just like this one.
”People don’t want to be discriminated against period, but especially for something you can’t help like an illness or a handicap,” Watson continued.
Kelly Burton of the Longview Community Health Corps said, “I’m in five years recovery.”
Kelly Burton of Longview said in her community the support is long overdue.
“We’re in the process of building one right now,” Burton added.
A chance to change lives here, now paving the way to help others.