26 November 2018

Member Spotlight November 2018

Clubhouse Europe in a few lines?


The NGO Clubhouse Europe (CHE) promotes recovery, well-being and social inclusion of people living with mental ill health by advocating for the use of evidence-based psychosocial rehabilitation clubhouses, also called Fountain Houses in many countries. CHE also supports the development of clubhouses  in Europe.

The NGO was founded in 2007 as support network for the ELECT project (2007-2009) funded mainly by the EU Lifelong Learning adult education programme. It consisted of 13 partners from 8 countries. The organisation was registered as international NGO under the laws in Denmark in 2011 as a deliverable of another European Lifelong Learning EMPAD project (2010-2012) consisting of 10 partners from 8 countries.

Dissemination in Europe

Psychosocial rehabilitation Clubhouses are recovery oriented and support communities of and for people with mental health problems.  The development of this innovative rehabilitation approach originally started in New York, Manhattan in 1948, when the first Fountain House was established.  Throughout the 1970s the model was disseminated in the USA and Canada. The first Fountain House in Europe was opened in Stockholm, Sweden in 1980. Since then, Fountain House – Clubhouses have multiplied across Europe in Germany (Bavaria), Austria, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Italy, France, Russia, The Netherlands and in some other countries. In 2014 the Clubhouse Model received the prestigious Conrad N Hilton Humanitarian Prize.

To date, around 80 Clubhouses are working in 22 countries in Europe offering strengths- and needs-based activities. Clubhouses are learning communities and encourage people to learn new skills for work such as ICT courses, language groups, supported education and transitional and supported employment in the open labour market.

What are Clubhouse Europe main activities?


Clubhouse Europe board members participate regularly in international conferences in the field of mental health  to raise awareness about the clubhouse model. For example, in 2018, board members participated in 12 mental health conferences and had many opportunities to introduce the model to wide audiences across Europe. Board members also contribute and write material such news articles that are published in other organisations’ newsletters. Biannually a European Clubhouse Conference is organised. The next one for  2018 will take place Aalborg, Denmark on 27-28, November. Around 170 participants have registered for this conference already.

Clubhouse Europe organises regular board meetings  and advocacy group  meetings. At this stage, Clubhouse Europe does not have any hired staff.

What are your main priorities?


The main strategic priority of the Clubhouse Europe is to “Make Clubhouse Visible” in the WHO’s European Region of 53 countries.

Clubhouse Europe works closely with other relevant European associations and networks such as Mental Health Europe to ensure that the clubhouse model continues to be introduced to many countries and organisations.

Where can we find out more?


Website and social media under construction.

Chair of the Clubhouse Europe is Wander Reitsma (Amsterdam, The Netherlands): clubhouse.europe.chairgmail.com

Chair of the Advocacy Group is Guido Valentini (Rome, Italy): che.advocacy.guido gmail.com

Here a few relevant resources: 






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