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Penn Foundation Wellspring Clubhouse Celebrates Members’ Employment Achievements

Penn Foundation Wellspring Clubhouse members celebrated their employment achievements at a special dinner on June 6th.

(SELLERSVILLE, Pa.) – On June 6, Penn Foundation’s Wellspring Clubhouse hosted its 21st Employment Dinner to celebrate the more than 40 members who were employed in the last year. This represents about one-third of the Clubhouse’s membership.

“We are pleased that so many of our members were employed this past year,” says Jill Valiant, Director of Wellspring Clubhouse. “The intrinsic value of work increases for our members because they can identify as a ‘worker’ rather than a ‘patient’ or someone who is ‘mentally ill.’ This attachment to a valued social role provides self-worth, confidence, and purpose.”

Wellspring Clubhouse is a voluntary psychosocial rehabilitation program for adults living with mental health challenges. During the course of their participation in a Clubhouse, members gain access to opportunities to rejoin the worlds of friendships, family, employment and education, and to the services and support they may individually need to continue their recovery. Clubhouse provides a restorative environment for people whose lives have been severely disrupted because of their mental illness and who need the support of others who are in recovery and who believe that mental illness is treatable.

As a right of membership, Wellspring Clubhouse provides its members with opportunities to return to paid employment in integrated work settings through two types of employment programs: Transitional Employment and Independent Employment.

  • Transitional Employment is specifically designed as a vocational rehabilitation program where a Clubhouse member can gain or re-gain the skills and confidence necessary to have a job while he or she is employed in a “real world” position. These placements are part-time and include on-the-job and off-site support from Clubhouse staff. These placements generally last from six to nine months.
  • Independent Employment is a program of the Clubhouse through which members, when ready, are helped by the Clubhouse to seek and obtain a job of their own. The Clubhouse provides ongoing support and encouragement for the members as long as they remain employed and want assistance. There is no on-site support at the place of business for members in Independent Employment; all support takes place at the Clubhouse or in the community.

Wellspring Clubhouse has established partnerships with several local businesses to offer transitional employment opportunities to members. If your business would like to learn more about how it can become a transitional employment partner, please contact Kara Lehman, Employment Unit Supervisor, at 267.452.1905 or klehman@pennfoundation.org.

About Wellspring Clubhouse
Opened by Penn Foundation in 1994, Wellspring Clubhouse is a voluntary psychosocial rehabilitation program for adults living with mental health challenges. The Clubhouse model features member leadership and involvement in all aspects of the program and offers restorative activities that focus on members’ strengths and abilities. The program operates as a “work-ordered day,” and members choose to work in one of three units: Member Services, Career Development, or Health & Wellness. Members work side-by-side with staff as colleagues to run the program, to learn or teach skills, and to offer support and resources needed to achieve a satisfying and improved quality of life in the community.