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Kansas Clubhouse Coalition to Hold Annual Conference

Wichita, KS, April 19, 2018 – The Kansas Clubhouse Coalition will hold its Annual Conference on Friday, April 27th, 2018 from 9:30am to 3:45pm at the Capitol Building, 300 W. 10th, Topeka. Keynote speaker Ken Dudek, President of Fountain House in New York and Guest Speaker Summer Berman, Director of Fresh Start Clubhouse in Ann Arbor, Michigan will discuss the national and local impact of mental health issues and the positive effects of the Clubhouse model in reducing hospitalizations and incarcerations for individuals with severe and persistent mental illness (SPMI). Breakout Sessions will focus on Basic Membership Rights, Building Clubhouse Communities, Cultivating Meaningful Relationships and Side-by-Side Engagement of Clubhouse Colleagues for Mental Health Advocates to implement clubhouses in their area.


Kansas mental health services are under-funded, forcing people with SPMI into emergency rooms, state hospitals and even jail during their worst symptoms. Clubhouses, like Breakthrough Club in Wichita, Kansas provide a proactive alternative for people with SPMI to stay connected to the community, find meaningful work, and experience recovery. “This model leaves behind the label of ‘client’ or ‘patient’ and opens the door to clubhouse membership,” says Barbara Andres, Executive Director. “Clubs like Breakthrough diminish the effects of loneliness, isolation and despair that accompany the diagnosis of mental illness.” Thanks to a discretionary grant from the State of Kansas and a grant from Kansas Health Foundation in 2017, Breakthrough Club at Episcopal Social Services in Wichita is currently helping 312 individuals with mental illness develop strong relationships, build job skills, and find employment.

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