Waterville’s High Hopes Clubhouse receives international distinction

Waterville’s High Hopes Clubhouse’s College Avenue location. Contributed photo

Kennebec Behavioral Health’s High Hopes Clubhouse recently was recognized by Clubhouse International as a clubhouse of distinction among all clubhouses worldwide.

High Hopes, which provides employment, education and social opportunities for people with severe and persistent mental illness, has been recognized among all clubhouse as having the highest percent of its members – 79 percent who are working in supported or independent employment. Currently, there are over 320 clubhouses in 34 countries across the globe, each of which strives to meet or exceed an international standard that at least 20 percent of the clubhouse’s average daily membership is actively working. High Hopes, in Waterville, and its sister clubhouses, Looking Ahead, in Lewiston, and Capitol Clubhouse, in Augusta, are known to be among the most effective clubhouses in the world. Collectively, the three clubhouses serve over 600 people members each year.

According to Clubhouse International’s most recent accreditation report, “High Hopes is an exceptional clubhouse community, which excels in its compliance to all of the Clubhouse International standards. The clubhouse is dedicated to providing a community where members are treated with dignity and respect, and given everyone opportunity to be valuable members of their community.”

Statewide organizations recognize the value of clubhouse as well. Recently, at its annual meeting NAMI Maine presented the KBH Clubhouses with their Outstanding Partner Award. According to Jenna Mehnert, executive director of NAMI Maine, “we are very honored to work with the staff of your clubhouses. Not only do we respect the work clubhouses accomplish in partnership with peers, we appreciate how willing they are to engage with NAMI Maine staff on various projects.”

Lisa Soucie, director of High Hopes, says it takes a whole community to make clubhouse successful. “We really want to celebrate the whole community’s response, including local employers who hire clubhouse members, our parent company, KBH, local churches, state government, local law enforcement and more.” And that celebration just happens to coincide with High Hopes’ 20th anniversary of providing service in the greater Waterville area.

For details about High Hopes Clubhouse, in Waterville, Looking Ahead Clubhouse, in Lewiston, and Capitol Clubhouse, in Augusta, or any of Kennebec Behavioral Health’s services and supports, go online to www.kbhmaine.org or call 207-873-2136, ext. 1905.

Kennebec Behavioral Health was founded in 1960 and operates clinics in Waterville, Skowhegan, Winthrop and Augusta. For more information or to schedule an appointment for any KBH service, call 1-888-322-2136. Information can also be found at www.kbhmaine.org.

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