Opportunity Centre Clubhouse FAQs

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What is the Opportunity Centre Clubhouse?

The Opportunity Centre Clubhouse, located in State College, is a place for people recovering from mental health challenges to come together to socialize, develop new skills, and work towards their recovery goals.

The Clubhouse was opened in 2002 by Skills of Central PA, and its mission is to provide a supportive environment for people whose lives have been interrupted by mental health challenges.

At the Clubhouse, members develop their own goals for recovery and then collaborate with other members and staff as they work to achieve those goals. The Clubhouse has a unique approach to recovery, focused on building community and working hard. Clubhouse members participate in all aspects of Clubhouse operations, functions, and decision-making, and as a result, they get to feel proud of the role they play, the fact that they’re key members of a community, and the things they accomplish.

What does Clubhouse membership mean?

The people who attend the Clubhouse are called members because they have a voice in Clubhouse decisions and are directly involved in every task it takes to keep the Clubhouse running. They help with answering phones, keeping track of finances, hiring new staff, cooking meals, and cleaning the Clubhouse space. They put a lot of heart and hard work into making sure the Clubhouse runs smoothly.

Members of the Clubhouse also receive support on their mental health recovery journeys.

Psychiatric Rehabilitation Specialist Rachelle, who has worked at the Clubhouse for four years, says one of the best things about the Clubhouse is the support members and staff give to each other.

“We’re like a family here. We all lean on each other. It’s such a nice, easy, and accepting atmosphere. We have a lot of fun.” – Rachelle, Clubhouse Employee

What does a typical day at the Clubhouse look like?

Every day at the Clubhouse is different, because each member has the freedom to choose which tasks they want to do based on their interests, skills, and goals.

In general, though, a day at the Clubhouse follows the order that you would find at a typical job.

Members start by eating breakfast, drinking coffee, and socializing with staff and peers.

Next, everyone in attendance participates in a morning meeting, where members make announcements about their lives, ask questions, and decide which work units they’ll go to for their daily tasks. Members can choose from the Kitchen Unit, where they work on planning a weekly menu and cooking nutritious meals, or the Clerical Unit, where they answer phones, file paperwork, and do other office work to help the Clubhouse operate.

Both units give members an opportunity to develop skills they may need to succeed at a paid job in the community, if obtaining employment is one of their goals.

After a few hours of work, everyone takes a break for lunch, which members and staff prepare together. After lunch, the work day continues in the Kitchen and Clerical units.

At the end of the day, everyone works together to clean up the Clubhouse.

“We do fun activities like dancing, going for walks, and sometimes we even do Karaoke.” – David, Opportunity Centre Clubhouse Member

Several times each month, members also have opportunities to participate in social outings, both at the Clubhouse and in the community. Recent social events include karaoke, mini golfing, and attending a baseball game.


Clubhouse members attending a Minor League Baseball game.

What does the Clubhouse do?

The Clubhouse supports members in figuring out, setting, and reaching their mental health recovery goals.

Members’ goals are often related to the role that they hope to fulfill as they progress through their mental health recovery journeys. Goals might include things such as “I will be a friend to two people,” “I will learn how to cook for myself at home,” or “I will find a volunteer job that I love.” Clubhouse member Deanna says, “One of my goals is to become a Peer Specialist so I can help other people with mental health diagnoses the same as me.”

Clubhouse staff help members figure out their strengths and find opportunities for them to use those strengths to pursue the goals that matter to them.

“Clubhouse has helped me make new friends while learning or relearning skills.” – Tammy, Opportunity Centre Clubhouse Member

Many Clubhouse members share the goal of finding and succeeding at paid employment in the community.

The Opportunity Centre Clubhouse offers several levels of support in pursuit of these goals, including:

  • Independent Employment, where Clubhouse staff provide support with job searching, applying for jobs, resume building, and interview skills, but remain hands-off while a Clubhouse member goes to work.
  • Supported Employment, where staff help people prepare for and find a job, provide transportation to and from work, and help with communication between Clubhouse members and their employer.
  • Transitional Employment, where members are able to find jobs through the Clubhouse and to receive on-the-job coaching and support from Clubhouse staff. These positions typically last 6 to 9 months. Following a Transitional Employment experience, members can choose to seek permanent employment with the business or move into another Transitional Employment position if they are not quite ready to work independently.

These opportunities allow members to gain experience, connect with employers, and build confidence in a work environment.

Many Clubhouse members also want to pursue further education. This could mean trade school, technical school, or college. Clubhouse staff and members work together to determine:

  • Areas of interest
  • Schools and programs to pursue
  • Strategies for managing mental health symptoms
  • Connections that may be needed with disability and support services, and
  • Financial assistance resources that may be needed.
What makes the Clubhouse special?

Every staff person and member of the Clubhouse is committed to providing a welcoming environment to everyone who comes in the door. The Clubhouse’s mission is to help people gain skills, build friendships, and make a difference.

Here’s what some Opportunity Centre Clubhouse members had to say about why they love coming to Clubhouse!

  • “I have so many friends here. I feel very welcome. It makes me feel good to come to Clubhouse.” – Deanna
  • “Everybody that comes here is wonderful.” – Silas
  • “This is home. Everybody who comes in here, we say this is our home away from home. We have a good time.” – Brenda
  • “You will be accepted no matter what you have, no matter who you are. You’ll always be welcomed with open arms and there will always be a place for you at  Clubhouse.” – David
How can I or someone I know attend the Clubhouse?

The Clubhouse is open to any Centre County Resident who:

  • Is 18 years of age or older,
  • Has been diagnosed with a serious mental health disorder, and
  • Has a desire to grow and meet goals in areas including living, learning, working, socialization, or wellness.

If you’re interested in joining the Clubhouse Family, reach out today to schedule a tour![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column column_width_percent=”100″ gutter_size=”3″ overlay_alpha=”50″ shift_x=”0″ shift_y=”0″ shift_y_down=”0″ z_index=”0″ medium_width=”0″ mobile_width=”0″ width=”1/1″][vc_single_image media=”86709″ media_width_percent=”77″ alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row row_height_percent=”0″ overlay_alpha=”50″ gutter_size=”3″ column_width_percent=”100″ shift_y=”0″ z_index=”0″][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_button button_color=”accent” size=”btn-lg” border_width=”0″ link=”url:http%3A%2F%2Fstatecollegeclubhouse.org”]Visit the Clubhouse Website[/vc_button][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_gmaps][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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