Persistent mental Illness is a devastating disruption to a person's life that separates and isolates them from typical daily activities. An estimated 19% of the population lives with mental illness and 6%—one in every 17 Americans—suffers from serious mental illness.2 Mental illness does not discriminate—it strikes people of all ethnic groups, religions, and economic brackets. In King County alone, 10,000 people seek treatment annually for severe mental illness. The services currently available in our county are inadequate to meet their needs. Existing programs mostly focus on crisis care and temporary treatment rather than on the ongoing recovery process. People can regain their mental health, but not with medication alone. Social and vocational rehabilitation services are a critical component of well-being and recovery for those living with mental illness.3
To fill the gap between what is available and what is still needed in our community. The first Clubhouse program in the Seattle area will provide people living with mental illness a cost-effective option for gaining respect, hope, and unlimited opportunity to access the same world of friendship, housing, education, and employment as the rest of the community. It will function as much-needed extension of existing services and programs.