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Our organization is dedicated to helping people in our community break through the cycle of poverty and mental illness. This includes raising awareness about the experience of living with mental illness, to end the cycle of poverty for those that seek our services, and build bridges in our community for those who are lost. Discover how your help makes an impact.

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  • Clubhouse Accreditation
    Clubhouse Accreditation

    For Immediate Release    Media Contact
    Rachel Newell
    Director of Development 


    Wichita, Kan., June 12, 2019 – Breakthrough Clubhouse, a pre-vocational program of Breakthrough/Episcopal Social Services, received a three-year accreditation in May as an affiliate of the Clubhouse International, an organization that develops Clubhouses around the world.  The recognition is significant, as it points to a clear demonstration of a Clubhouse’s commitment to excellence.  Accreditation is awarded to Clubhouses that adhere to the International Standards for Clubhouse Programs, providing opportunities for Clubhouse members to find employment, go to school, build meaningful relationships and live healthy lifestyles. 

    The process is a rigorous one - both evaluative and consultative.  It includes a clubhouse self-study, site visit, dialogs regarding Clubhouse leadership and improvement opportunities, and a written report.  

    The accreditation process is conducted by members of the Clubhouse International faculty for Clubhouse Development.  The final report noted, “Members have a strong sense of pride and ownership in the  Clubhouse, there’s a strong culture of employment and an extremely active advocacy with the Kansas State Legislature which is resulting in solid support of Clubhouses in other parts of Kansas.”  David Kapten, Program Director for Breakthrough Clubhouse added, “This is an empowering program that supports self-directed recovery. Each member of the Clubhouse is needed and wanted.”  

    Clubhouses are local community centers that provide members with opportunities to build long-term relationships that, in turn, support them in obtaining employment, education and housing, including:
    •    a work-ordered day in which the talents and abilities of members are recognized and utilized within the Clubhouse;
    •    participation in consensus-based decision making regarding all important matters relating to the running of the Clubhouse;
    •    Opportunities to obtain paid employment in the local labor market through a Clubhouse-created Transitional Employment Program. In addition, members participate in Clubhouse-supported and independent programs;
    •    assistance in accessing community-based educational resources;
    •    access to crisis intervention services when needed, and;
    •    Evening/weekend social and recreational events.

    About Breakthrough Clubhouse 
    The Clubhouse Model is a unique program serving 386 people with mental illness in 2018.  It’s one of four primary programs of Breakthrough/Episcopal Social Services. Breakthrough has been an accredited Clubhouse since 1997 and continues to be the only one in Kansas. Clubhouses are a powerful demonstration that people with mental illness can and do lead normal, productive lives.  


  • Mental Health Funding for certified Clubhouses as identified and funded by the Lottery Vending Machine legislation that became law in 2018.

  • Drawing from our history, our new name is "Breakthrough."

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How to Serve Refugees and Recent Immigrants in Your Community

Imagine if every face you saw was a strange one. Try to comprehend how it would feel to be totally unknown, without common words to introduce yourself. Stop a moment to consider the overwhelming fear of having little food, few clothes or uncertain housing. This is how many refugees and recent immigrants in our country feel.

Reflecting on what it would be like to immigrate to a foreign country—or even more harrowing, to flee from your home¬—is a sobering thought. But it can also be an inspiring one. Understanding the experience of recent immigrants and refugees may prompt you to help them. So respond proactively instead of pushing the pain of others from your mind. Here are our ideas for how you can help new members of your community.

Most communities have refugee resettlement programs to help newcomers assimilate and feel at home. Learning to speak and read English is an especially pressing need for most immigrants and refugees. Without English fluency it’s hard or impossible to communicate with neighbors, local businesses and potential employers. Why not volunteer as an English as a New Language (ENL) teacher or conversation partner?

It’s probably not required that you speak your partner’s first language to teach ENL, though it would certainly help your new neighbor feel more at ease. The importance of a shared language is such an essential part acculturation for immigrants and refugees. Teaching them to speak and read English would help them tremendously.

Becoming a citizen is another key part of acculturation for immigrants and refugees, but citizenship preparation is not without its challenges. Many communities host monthly workshops to assist immigrants and refugees in filling out applications for U.S. citizenship. You can also teach citizenship preparation classes to adults who are studying for the USCIS citizenship exam.

Teaching English and helping immigrants and refugees become citizens are natural ways to help them feel welcome. You can also welcome them by including them in the local culture. Think of cultural traditions they might feel excluded from and set out to include them. For example, you can lend your children’s classmates dresses or neckties for school dances. Invite your new neighbors to your family’s July 4th cookout. Host them for their first Thanksgiving meal this fall. Treat holiday traditions and social functions as opportunities to share our culture with immigrants and refugees. And this is especially important—respect their cultural traditions and learn more about them. Show interest in your neighbors’ cultural background to show them they’re welcome and at home in your community.

Another option for helping immigrants and refugees is volunteering for the people who work for them. For instance, you could cut costs for your local naturalization office by answering phones or handling other administrative tasks. Or, apply to be a legal aide at the offices for immigration legal services. Legal aides serve new community members by preparing their immigration-related documents or drafting legal memoranda.

Every community has new members that could use your help.

  • 35th Anniversary
    35th Anniversary
  • United Way
    United Way