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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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Mary had a Little Thanksgiving

In 1846, one of the country’s most influential female authors began a campaign that would occupy her for nearly twenty years. American writer Sarah Josepha Hale, an influential editor and the author of “Mary had a Little Lamb,” spent seventeen years campaigning to make Thanksgiving a national holiday.

Before Hale, Thanksgiving was only celebrated in New England. And even then commemorations were irregular. Before the holiday was nationally recognized, Americans in different states celebrated Thanksgiving on days ranging from October to January. And many Americans in the South had never even heard of such a holiday.

Presidential Pleas
But Hale worked hard to change that. Much of her campaigning in support of a national Thanksgiving holiday involved writing letters to political leaders. She petitioned five U.S. presidents— Zachary Taylor, Millard Filmore, Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan and Abraham Lincoln—before Thanksgiving was finally made the United States’ third national holiday. (Washington’s Birthday and Independence Day were the only other nationally celebrated holidays at the time.)

Inspired by Hale’s proactive leadership, we came up with a few ideas to celebrate Thanksgiving in a way that’d make her proud.

Trying for Turkey
As suggested by the long list of presidents whom Hale asked to legally recognize Thanksgiving as a national holiday, her first attempts to persuade political leaders were unsuccessful. Hale finally persuaded Lincoln, who supported legislation establishing the holiday in 1863.

Similarly, the recent presidential election and the volunteers who campaigned for their respective candidates demonstrate that change takes a lot of work. Take a civic engagement lesson from Hale and participate in causes that interest you. Contact your local representatives, volunteer and—of course—vote.

Rest & Relief
Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a national holiday in the middle of the American Civil War. Recently widowed women, orphaned children and wounded men were invited to pause in gratitude despite their terrible troubles. The timing is significant. Lincoln’s declaration of Thanksgiving shows that celebrations unify groups, and that temporary retreat from one’s troubles provides much-needed rest.

Whose suffering can you ease in this Thanksgiving week? Serve at a soup kitchen or donate coats to protect your less fortunate friends from the coming months’ cold weather. Offer relief by raking your elderly neighbors’ leaves or fetching their groceries.

Hale’s notion of a national Thanksgiving was a unifying movement that offered relief in the wake of the civil war. The upcoming Thanksgiving holiday reminds us of our debt to Hale for her hard work and tireless civic engagement. Share gratitude with your friends and family this Thursday, and reflect on how you can better serve your community.

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