About the

Clubhouse Model

Seacoast Pathways, an Accredited Clubhouse

In 2021, Seacoast Pathways received accreditation from Clubhouse International, a membership organization representing more than 300 locally managed Clubhouses in nearly 40 US states and more than 30 countries. 

Executive Director Ann Strachan noted that accreditation is significant because it signals to mental health organizations, state agencies, and members of the community that the clubhouse is always improving, and accreditation opens up more opportunities for funding and partnerships.

What is a Clubhouse?

Much more than simply a program, or a social service, a Clubhouse is most importantly a community of people who are working together toward a common goal. A Clubhouse is intentionally organized to support individuals living with the effects of mental illness and/or brain injury.

Through participation in a Clubhouse, people are given the opportunity to rejoin the worlds of friendships, family, important work, employment, education, and to access the services and supports they may need. A Clubhouse is a restorative environment for people who have had their lives drastically disrupted, and need the support of others who believe that recovery from mental illness and successfully managing the effects of brain injury is possible for all.

International Standards

There are 37 International Standards for Clubhouse Programs, agreed upon by the worldwide Clubhouse community that define the Clubhouse model for recovery. The principles expressed in these Standards are at the heart of the Clubhouse community’s success in helping people with mental illness.

The standards also serve as a “bill of rights” for members and a code of ethics for staff, board and administrators. They provide the basis for assessing clubhouse quality for the International Center for Clubhouse Development’s certification process. Every two years the worldwide Clubhouse community reviews these Standards and amends them as deemed necessary. To see the Standards go to www.iccd.org.

Components of the Clubhouse

Work-Ordered Day

The daily activity of a Clubhouse is organized around a structured system known as the work-ordered day. The work-ordered day takes place during clubhouse house hours, which parallels the typical business hours of the working community where the Clubhouse is located.

Members and staff work side by side, as colleagues to perform the work that is important to their community. All of the work in the Clubhouse is for the Clubhouse and not for any outside agency or business. There are no clinical therapies or treatment-oriented programs in the Clubhouse. Members volunteer to participate as they feel ready and according to their individual interests.

The Clubhouse work includes cooking and cleaning, gardening, fundraising, research, assisting each other with housing, outreach, intake and orientation of new members, new staff orientation, evaluation of Clubhouse effectiveness, administering the employment programs, assistance with education, planning social activities, and assisting members to obtain services from the wider community.

Social and Recreational Programs

The Clubhouse organizes structured and non-structured social activities for the members. These activities are always scheduled outside the work day. On evenings and weekends, members and staff have the opportunity to get to know each other outside the pressures of the Clubhouse work day.

Educational Opportunities

The Clubhouse assists members to complete education that has been disrupted or to start certificate and degree programs at academic or adult education programs. The Clubhouse may also take advantage of the talents and skills of staff and members to provide in-house educational opportunities.

Community Support

Members are given support in acquiring and keeping affordable housing, good mental health and general medical services, government disability benefits, and any other services they may need.


Part of the daily work of the Clubhouse involves keeping track of members. When a member does not attend the Clubhouse, a “reachout” telephone call or visit is made to let the member know that he or she is missed.

Decision Making and Governance

Members and staff meet in open forums to discuss policy issues and future planning for the Clubhouse.

Contact us
Email : seacoastpathways@gmail.com
Call : 603-812-9031 or 603-570-9804
155 Brewery Lane, Suite 102 Portsmouth, NH 03801
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