West End Place had more than 1,000 nonmember visitors in the first months it was open, including such notables as Nada Stotland, MD, president of the American Psychiatric Association; Terry Cline, PhD, then SAMHSA administrator; David L. Shern, PhD, president/CEO of Mental Health America; Joel Corcoran, executive director of the International Center for Clubhouse Development; and Keith Schafer, EdD, director of the Missouri Department of Mental Health. Professional colleagues repeatedly comment on how the facility is a “stigma buster.”
But no approval means more than that of the members who use it daily. No one is required to attend a clubhouse program, so members “vote with their feet.” Thus, it's affirming to know that Independence Center has developed a place of dreams and proved that with a new building “they will come.”
Lynn Huelsmann is Director of Development at the Independence Center in St. Louis, Missouri.
For more information, visit http://www.independencecenter.org.
Behavioral Healthcare 2009 May;29(5):27-29