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Clubhouse Glossary


An accredited clubhouse is a clubhouse that is adhering to the International Standards created by Clubhouse International, guaranteeing that the culture and space is not only centered around membership, it is created by membership. Accreditation is determined by a team from Clubhouse International’s faculty, which is composed of both members and staff. Currently, NorthStar Clubhouse has a three-year unconditional accreditation, which we wear with pride.


Being an ally means working to develop empathy towards another individual’s or group's challenges or issues- and ultimately, creating a culture in which every person feels safe & valued


Clubhouses create a safe, non clinical, stigma free environment where people in recovery or experiencing mental health challenges

can find structure, meaningful work, and the opportunity to develop skills in the work ordered day. A clubhouse is more than a building. It is an intentional community. As a supportive community members restore confidence, develop meaningful relationships with others, and find purpose in their lives. The skills that members gain from participation in the clubhouse are also helpful to find employment and to fulfill their personal goals.


Engagement is a powerful tool unique to Clubhouses that staff and members of NorthStar use to help each other build confidence, restore self-efficacy, and reach personal recovery goals through the work of the clubhouse. Engagement is the opportunity for connection that is created through the work we do.  Making lunch together is not just about the lunch we create but the process, connection, and opportunity we have from doing the task together.  Engagement is the connection point to each other and the work that helps members regain confidence, self-esteem, and self efficacy.



Members are volunteers that run the clubhouse while simultaneously supporting their mental wellness. Members develop a sense of ownership of the clubhouse and a shared responsibility with others to maintain a positive community. While membership is voluntary, NorthStar Clubhouse cannot run without each one of us.


The International Standards for Clubhouse Programs, agreed upon by consensus by the worldwide Clubhouse community, define the Clubhouse Model of rehabilitation. The principles expressed in these Standards are at the heart of the Clubhouse community’s success in helping people with mental illness to achieve social, financial, educational and vocational goals.

The Standards also serve as a “bill of rights” for members and a code of ethics for staff,board and administrators. The Standards insist that a Clubhouse is a place that offers respect and opportunity to its members.The Standards provide the basis for assessing Clubhouse quality, through the Clubhouse International Accreditation process.

Every two years the worldwide Clubhouse community reviews these Standards, and amends them as deemed necessary. The process is coordinated by the Clubhouse International Standards Review Committee, made up of members and staff of Accredited Clubhouses from around the world

Transitional Employment

Transitional Employment or TE is a job placement program that NorthStar members rotate every 6-9 months. Members are placed in part-time entry level jobs with employers in the Portland community. TE guarantees on site training, outside support for members, and absentee coverage for the employer.

Members participate in Transitional Employment for a variety of reasons. It can be a great way to add some employment history for those who have a gap in their resumes. Members who have trouble with the interview process can bypass that through TE, as well as having the opportunity to build up confidence for their next job.

Transitional Employment is a unique employment program created by the first Clubhouse, Fountain House, in New York City. Each Clubhouse creates and maintains a relationship with employers in their community to hold those positions for members for years to come.


Clubhouse tasks and activities are organized and divided into Units including Administration, Employment, Membership, Nutrition & Wellness and Communications.. Members choose work according to their personal goals and interests.For additional details about each Unit please Click here to take you to the Units page.

Work of the Day

Instead of individual counseling, group therapy, or other types of traditional mental health treatments, Clubhouse programs world-wide use "work" as the medium for positive growth and recovery in its "members."  The real volunteer work done in the clubhouse to ensure its effective operation provides members with an effective structure to achieve skills of all kinds, an enhanced ability to interact with others, self-confidence, and a sense of belonging to a community of peers committed to achieving ever greater levels of recovery.

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