“Individuals with complex psychiatric and physical health challenges deserve access to the high quality care that is provided here and has been on the leading edge of innovation. Over time we expect that the higher quality care that Fountain House provides will help save the system."
- Dr. Nirav Shah, Former New York State Commissioner of Health
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), people living with serious mental illness have a life expectancy 10-20 years less than the general population. The majority of deaths are due to preventable physical diseases, especially cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, and infections.
At Fountain House, we know you can’t have a healthy mind without a healthy body. Through our Community System of Care, which combines medical and psychiatric services at the Sidney R. Baer Jr. Center, with social interventions at Fountain House, members experience reduced hospitalizations and a 21% decrease in costs to Medicaid.
Wellness Programming at Fountain House
Fountain House members and staff work side-by-side in our Wellness and Culinary Units to prepare food daily, providing healthy, nourishing meals and an opportunity for the community to gather and socialize.
Meals prepared at Fountain House use fresh produce from the Fountain House Farm in Montague, NJ and other local suppliers. In 2018, the Fountain House Farm produced:
Classes and Groups
Our members have access to an array of wellness programs and classes within the clubhouse, including:
- Yoga & meditation
- Nutritional cooking
- Daily walking group
- Weekly running group
- Smoking cessation
- Supported Sobriety
Peter B. Lewis and Adam Lewis Wellness Center
The Peter B. Lewis and Adam Lewis Wellness Center comprises the two top floors of Fountain House’s location in New York City. The Wellness Center features a large teaching kitchen, open studio space, and a fitness center. Generously funded by gifts from Peter Lewis and his son, Adam Lewis, the Wellness Center underscores Fountain House’s commitment to an integrative approach to the health and well-being of our community.
Fountain House members have year-round access to the fitness center.
Partnership with YMCA
Fountain House members who seek advanced gym facilities can apply for a discounted membership to the McBurney YMCA through our Wellness Unit.
Our partnership with the McBurney YMCA was established in 2012 and offers 50 discounted memberships to Fountain House members annually.
The Sidney R. Baer Jr. Center is the first integrated health home model in the U.S. for people living with mental illness. It is a collaborative partnership with Brightpoint Health.
The group practice of physicians and psychiatrists relies on a team-based approach that includes social workers and other key relationships. The patient is at the center of this team and an active agent in his/her own recovery. Individuals are approached from a strength-based perspective that is motivational rather than diagnostic. They are encouraged to pursue wellness, education, employment, and life goals.
In 2017, Fountain House’s Scholarship Program expanded to include wellness scholarships. This new category of scholarship assists members to meet their health goals outside of the internal wellness and fitness programming offered at Fountain House.
The scholarship encourages members to participate in healthy activities they are personally interested in, such as dance, swimming, or karate, as they advance in their recovery.
Fountain House Farm
Fountain House Farm at High Point is located on 477-acres in Montague, NJ. The rural setting offers peaceful surroundings where members connect to natural processes while strengthening their reliance on one another.
While on the farm, members engage in: wellness, fitness and meditation activities; food production for meals used both on the farm and at Fountain House in New York City; and perform environmental stewardship. These activities foster a sense of dignity, self-worth, and pride in doing for oneself and for others – important prerequisites for healing and rehabilitation. The farm connects members to natural processes while strengthening their reliance on one another. Working together, they support each other to improve their physical and mental health; to develop a deeper understanding and appreciation for the food production process, and to learn to conserve and care for their environment. Shared activities and chores foster a mutually reliant community.
Programming at the farm includes a range of skills-based and rehabilitative activities. By maintaining the garden and caring for animals, members gain an understanding of where their food and produce come from; they become stewards of nature and develop a deeper attachment to the farm. Weekly groups collect eggs, honey, and produce–used to feed Fountain House members on the farm and in New York City. Food scraps are collected at the clubhouse in New York City, composted and then returned to the farm. In this way, a “Closed Loop” system is created.
 Liu, NH, Daumit, GL, Dua, T, Aquila, R, Charlson, F, Cuijpers, P, et al. Excess mortality in persons with severe mental disorders: a multilevel intervention framework and priorities for clinical practice, policy and research agendas. World Psychiatry 2017; 16: 30–40.