The onset of mental illness – which often occurs between the ages of 18 and 25 – can severely disrupt one’s educational and/or vocational development. Of the 7.2 million Americans who have prematurely terminated their education due to the effects of early-onset psychiatric disorders, only a small fraction have gone on to complete either high school or college.
Just like anyone else, many clubhouse members dream of improving themselves through an education. Some wish to learn a trade, while others aspire for careers in health, business, and law. Still others would like to complete the education they began long ago, before the onset of their illness. By helping members identify educational goals, negotiate admissions, apply for financial aid, and obtain the peer support and tutoring they need to succeed in an academic environment, Clubhouse seeks to make these dreams a reality. At the clubhouse, members will find the following:
- A classroom environment outfitted with books, testing materials, and school supplies.
- Tutoring programs.
- Liaison with appropriate officials for financial aid.
- Enrollment in GED and high school equivalency programs, technical training, community colleges, and four-year institutions.
- Ongoing discussion of the problems facing older students.
- Involvement of clubhouse members in teaching and tutoring, particularly in areas related to literacy.