These developments brought to mind a 1985 telephone survey of clubhouses that was conducted to collect information regarding their relationship with the psychiatric community. In that survey all 72 clubhouses contacted responded, producing significant findings. In brief, 42 (58%) of the 72 programs indicted that a connection with psychiatrists. These programs were more likely to be older, have larger number of members and more staff, then those having no formal relationship with psychiatrists. It was also of interest that over half of these programs indicated a desire to seek such consultation. For those with a relationship, staff consultation was by far the most often service (93%), followed by medication monitoring (64%) and crisis intervention (52%),
These findings were presented in workshops held at the 1985 annual meeting of IAPSRS (now known as USPRA) and the third International Clubhouse Seminar. As a result specific issues were raised. For example, noticeably absent in the findings, no program indicated any involvement by psychiatrists in the rehabilitation process as a whole. A second issue related to the location of psychiatric involvement: within the clubhouse or strictly off-site. A third issue revolved around how a clubhouse could get acquainted with specific psychiatrists.
Over 25 years have elapsed since the survey and the workshops, with little obvious change within the clubhouse community as a whole. While a number of significant developments have occurred -- such as the evolvement of that which is called the “Rehabilitation Alliance” and an increased concern for “wellness” -- there is little observable indication of a generalized acceptance of these or other similar efforts to increase the clubhouse-psychiatry collaboration.
Perhaps now is the time to document the current state of the clubhouse-psychiatrist collaboration by conducting a similar telephone survey of ICCD clubhouses. By doing so, more clubhouses might decide to establish collaboration with their own psychiatric consultant. If nothing else, up-to-date data would be available for the upcoming 2-day seminar being organized by Fountain House.