Mental Health and Addictions Advisory Committee Members

Dear Dr. Rudnick:

This committee was presented with an overview of the Accredited Clubhouse model of psychosocial rehabilitation on May 30, 2014.  As a committee we recommend that Island Health initiate the start-up of an accredited clubhouse international model of evidence based psychosocial rehabilitation as soon as possible.  We came to this conclusion based on the following:

  1. The summer edition of PULSE - Community News and Information from the Victoria Foundation (2014) states in 2013, mental health rose from the 10th most important issue, as ranked by Vital Signs survey respondents, to the 2nd most important issue.
  2. Mental illness is the third largest contributor of BC's burden of disease and the greatest contributor for people aged 15-34.  This is a critical age group - young adults starting their lives.
  3. We are aware that Vancouver Coastal Health partially funds a clubhouse in Richmond, BC and believe the same financial arrangement should be made in Victoria.
  4. The Clubhouse Model is now included on the US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA) National Registry of Evidence Based Practices and Programs (NREOO) in 2008.
  5. Healthy Minds, Healthy People (HMHP) states that mental illness costs the BC economy $6.6 billion each year.  Evidence-based practices will reduce this figure.
  6. Healthy Minds, Healthy People's goals include:
    • A focus on evidence-based practice using a collaborative approach.
    • To reduce the economic costs resulting from mental health problems.
    • The promotion of individual's strengths and capacities, improve his/her ability to cope with adversity, and create supportive community environments.
    • Tackling stigma and discrimination is an essential step in crating a system that is inclusive, accessible and sustainable.  The need to change the language of mental illness and to focus on the concept of recovery rather than on the illness and its severity is emphasized.
    • Enhance the availability of evidence-based therapy - there is a substantial body of research literature on evidence-based therapies...
    • ACTION - Implement integrated evidence-based primary and community care practices for people with severe and complex mental disorders and/or substance dependence.
    • ACTION - Implement evidence-based rehabilitation services including employment, education, leisure and wellness.
  7. Island Health's Operating Themes and Priorities 2012-2014 includes in three focus area and priorities (include) #3:  Island Health wants programs and services and our individual health care providers to follow best practices and the latest standards and approaches.

In summary Clubhouse International is an accredited evidence-based program that offers a full range of evidence based services to allow choices for individuals in recovery.  We believe it is essential to introduce best practices and evidence based programs - it is recommended in the Healthy Minds, Healthy people document and will also be recommended in the PSR Framework that is in its final stages.

The clubhouse model includes housing support and outreach to educational institutions and hospitals, therefore simplifying the fragmented or difficult to navigate mental health system.

Community building, along with developing relationships is the foundation to recovery.  People in Victoria with a mental illness are sick 365 days a year - not just Monday to Friday 9-5.  An accredited clubhouse is open every day of the year - including statutory holidays.

As taxpayers, this committee achnowledges a clubhouse is extremely cost effective.  Richmond Pathways Clubhouse has a recent audit that showed every $1 invested $14 was returned in societal value (SROI).  Savings can be redirected to psychiatric emergency services.

There are many facilities in the region that could be converted into a clubhouse without a large outlay of capital.  part of BC Housing's mandate is mental health and they can be contacted regarding space for a clubhouse.  A school no longer in use is another option.  Therefore it is a possibility that an existing building could be repurposed for a clubhouse at little cost.

This program has a long history of success - developed in the late 1940's.  We, the committee are in support of Island Health pursuing this project

Yours truley,

Mental Health and Addictions Advisory Chair on behalf of Committee Members