About

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Fountain House is about the power of community. It was created to relieve the loneliness and stigma that affect so many people who are living with serious mental illnesses, like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depression. Serious mental illness disrupts lives - people lose their jobs, they drop out of school, they alienate their families and friends, and they end up alone.

In 1944, six former psychiatric patients and two volunteers formed a group and called themselves We Are Not Alone - a name that speaks to what we still see as the central problem for people living with serious mental illness: social isolation. In 1948, recognizing the need for a place as well as a group, they purchased a building in New York City, and Fountain House was born.

The approach that we've evolved - our working community - offers people living with mental illness a sense of belonging and the opportunity to form relationships, so they can take the vital steps toward mental health. Membership in Fountain House has been proven to reduce re-hospitalizations and to improve overall health.

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Our working community changes lives.

The therapy of Fountain House is our working community. Every day, hundreds of members choose to come to Fountain House to contribute their talents, learn new skills, access opportunities, and forge friendships. Members and staff work as partners to operate successful employment, education, wellness, and housing programs. Our activities and programs are designed to provide opportunities and, at the same time, produce the desire and confidence to pursue them.

We are a local global community with a global reach. We have trained people to develop these communities since the 1950s. Hundreds of places around the world have been inspired by our approach, which currently improves the lives of more than 100,000 people with mental illness worldwide. As originators of this method, we provide leadership by advancing the practice and by leading the conversation around mental health recovery.

Fountain House produces results.

  • 77% of participants in Fountain House’s Education Program complete their studies. The average education completion rate for students with mental illness is 32%.
  • 65% of Fountain House members have achieved employment through our employment program. The average employment rate for people with mental illness is 15%.
  • Members receiving psychiatric services at the Sidney Baer Center, our partner clinic which integrates psychiatric and primary healthcare, have a relapse rate of 7%. The current average relapse rate is 50%.