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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.


  • Payee Clients Housed

    92%

  • Payees eliminate debt in first 6 mos

    87%

  • Program Participants

    4023

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  • Clubhouse Accreditation
    Clubhouse Accreditation

    For Immediate Release    Media Contact
    Rachel Newell
    Director of Development 
    316-665-8605
    rachel.newell@breakthroughwichita.org

    BREAKTHROUGH CLUBHOUSE GARNERS THREE-YEAR ACCREDITATION

    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.  

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  • 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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3 Positive Reasons for Seniors to Volunteer

3 Positive Reasons for Seniors to Volunteer

After a lifetime in the workforce, retirement leaves many senior citizens wondering what’s next in store. With a free schedule, suddenly they have a plethora of time, resources and flexibility that they never had before. For years, work gave them a purpose and a sense of accomplishment. Without it, many seniors can find themselves pondering how to fill their extra time.

Fortunately, no matter who you are, how old or what experiences you have, there’s always one way you can find fulfillment, use your passion and give back to others all at the same time: through volunteering. For seniors, volunteering is the perfect chance to use extra time to make a difference in the community. Check out these positive reasons for seniors to volunteer.

1. Volunteering promotes brain health.
As we age, health can become a serious concern for many. Particularly after someone retires, the number of activities they do that stimulate the brain dwindles. However, volunteering provides the perfect outlet for mental stimulation and interaction. This stimulation improves seniors’ mental health, including reducing symptoms of depression and even dementia. 

The National Institute on Aging found that participating in meaningful social activities like volunteering can improve a person’s longevity, mental health and diminish the risk of dementia. Another study by the Rotman Research Institute found that seniors who volunteered approximately 100 hours a year (three to four hours per week) had improved memory and speech as a result. They also ended up feeling less stressed and overwhelmed. As we age, volunteering keeps us mentally sharp, which improves our overall health.

2. Volunteering equips physical health.
In addition to mental health, volunteering can also significantly boost a senior’s physical health. And of course, maintaining a good level of fitness can prevent injuries and disease as people age. Whether it’s walking dogs for the Humane Society, building homes for Habitat for Humanity or simply restocking books at the local library, volunteering gives seniors a physical outlet to stay in shape. 

One study conducted by Carnegie Mellon University showed that individuals over 50 who volunteered were at a decreased risk for developing high blood pressure, which can lead to stroke, heart attack and other conditions. In 2014, a review of 45 years worth of studies demonstrated that seniors were in better physical and mental health as a direct result of volunteering. To feel better mentally and physically, volunteering is the perfect option.

3. Volunteering provides a sense of purpose.
After years in the workforce, many seniors often feel a lack of purpose for their lives. While they used to spend their time helping others and working hard, time can feel much more vacant in retirement. Volunteering for an important cause fills this need. Consistent volunteering gets seniors out into the community, with people counting on their attendance, services and abilities. 

The feeling of being relied upon gives seniors this sense of purpose and responsibility for their lives. Seniors meet new friends and build a valuable sense of community and relationships. They know they’re making a difference, and their work has an impact. In fact, one study by the Corporation for National and Community Service discovered that adults over the age of 60 who volunteer reported higher levels of wellbeing and lower disability than those who did not. Volunteering not only helps the community, but it can also help the seniors who get involved. 

Volunteering has a valuable impact on everyone, but it can especially make a difference in the lives of senior citizens. If you or someone you know is a senior living in post-retirement, consider how volunteering can play a role in life. You might just find a plethora of reasons to get involved and give back.

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