Director of Education, Fountain House
July 9-14 saw a delegation of sixteen from Fountain House New York attend the 16th International Clubhouse Seminar hosted by Fountain House Stockholm, the oldest clubhouse in Europe. Five members, including Mario Pinot who is also a Board member; eight staff, including Kenn Dudek, Director, Board Chair Lorna Hyde Graev and Dr. Howard Owens, the Chair of the Council; and a volunteer research associate, Kimiko Tanaka, attended the meetings and engaged in discussions related to clubhouse development.
International clubhouse seminars have been held every two years since 1981 when the first seminar was organized by Dr. M.R. Chaudhry in Lahore, Pakistan
. Stockholm has twice been the site of the seminar; the city hosted the 2nd International Seminar in 1983.
Fountain House representatives made significant contributions to the proceedings with presentations on an impressive range of topics, such as: organizing clubhouse meetings, new staff orientation, engaging young adults, fighting stigma through public media, sustaining a busy clubhouse, running unit meetings, creating a “delicious” food unit, integrating administrative functions in the work units, creating a clerical unit, evidenced-based research, technology in the clubhouse, leveraging the power of the Board, presenting your personal story, and launching new clubhouses.
Several events made the Seminar memorable. The convocation recognized the SEVAC Clubhouse of India
from Kolkata India, the first clubhouse in the Asian subcontinent that Fountain House helped to get started. Fountain House participants were among the thousand people that gathered together on Tuesday evening and marched through the center of Stockholm in an “anxiety parade”
to raise public awareness on behalf of people living with mental illness, an event that we hope future Seminars will emulate. The Seminar concluded with a dinner dance featuring Lady Be Good
, all-female band, whose high energy performance brought everyone to their feet.
Additionally, individuals from Fountain House had the opportunity to express their personal opinions to the proposed changes to the International Standards
– a consensually agreed upon set of principles that define the Clubhouse Model. Standards are up for public review every two years. Board members enjoyed a special evening to network with their peers from the world over, an evening that culminated with a private tour of the Stockholm City Hall, the location of the annual Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony. Fountain House representatives also attended the annual training base workshop that preceded the Seminar and the annual meeting of the International Center for Clubhouse Development
(ICCD) Faculty, following the conference.