Beyond These Walls: Can Psychosocial Clubhouses Promote the Social Integration of Adults With Serious Mental Illness in the Community?

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Objective: The study examined factors associated with community integration experiences of adults with serious mental illness who were members of psychosocial rehabilitation clubhouses in New York City. Method: Ninety-two clubhouse members completed an online survey. The study examined relative contribution of adults’ reports of individual factors (self-reported psychiatric symptoms, self-esteem), community supports (self-reported employment status and perceived family support), and the clubhouse environment (self-reported time spent in the clubhouse, clubhouse supportiveness, and practical orientation) in accounting for variation in members’ reports of social integration within the clubhouse and within the larger community. Results: Hierarchical linear regression results suggest a differential pattern of variables associated with participants’ experience of social integration within the clubhouse versus outside the clubhouse with the larger non-mental-health consumers. Adults’ reports of more time spent in the clubhouse and perceptions of clubhouse environment as having a more practical orientation were associated with adults’ reports of greater social integration within the clubhouse. In contrast, greater self-esteem and being independently employed were associated with greater social integration outside the clubhouse. Perceived family support was associated with higher levels of social integration both within and outside the clubhouse setting. Conclusion and Implication for Practice: Greater social integration of clubhouse members both in and outside the clubhouse environment is essential in understanding community integration. Recommendations for the clubhouse model to improve community integration experiences of its members are discussed.

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