What is it about?

Clubhouses are psychosocial, work-oriented rehabilitation facilities for persons with current of previous mental illness. We examined the characteristics of the members of one clubhouse in Norway and the extent to which they participated in work and/or education.

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Why is it important?

Work participation is important for the individual as it provides the person with income, valued occupations, social participation and increased self-esteem. To the society, a larger number of people working means that more persons are contributing to the welfare of the soceity, and fewer persons in need of (higher levels of) support.


In the study, we found that more than half of the sample had a desire to work, but a minority of only 14% participated in ordinary work and/or education. Thus, it is likely that clubhouse members represent an underused capacity and resource for work. In addition, the rates of participation in work decreased with increasing age of the members. There is a general trend that older persons have more problems in finding new employment, once they have lost the job they had. Having a history of mental illness while getting older seems only to increase this problem. At the same time, could it be that the older clubhouse members had other desires for their future than working hard to increase their chances of getting competitive work? Future research might want to consider the work participation of persons with mental illness in the context of their personal desires and ambitions.

Professor Tore Bonsaksen
Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Characteristics of Norwegian clubhouse members and factors associated with their participation in work and education, British Journal of Occupational Therapy, July 2016, SAGE Publications, DOI: 10.1177/0308022616639977.
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