Kennebec Behavioral Health’s Looking Ahead Clubhouse has recently been awarded the highest level of accreditation from Clubhouse International (www.ICCD.org).   The accreditation for the Lewiston area’s vocational clubhouse comes after having opened only two years ago; joining High Hopes Clubhouse in Waterville and Capitol Clubhouse in Augusta as KBH’s third accredited Clubhouse. Collectively, the three Clubhouses provide employment supports and therapeutic care to over 600 adults with mental illness each year.  Christine Berry, Director of Looking Ahead Clubhouse was thrilled with the accreditation award and attributed the success to the combined efforts of Clubhouse staff and members.  “It always amazes me how the Clubhouse community comes together for the accreditation process. For a new Clubhouse community to get a full 3-year accreditation is a huge accomplishment. We strive to be a strong and successful Clubhouse and we really appreciate that Clubhouse International has recognized our passion and dedication to the Clubhouse Model through this Accreditation process. I am privileged to have the opportunity to work with our members, they are fabulous” Berry stated.

Much of the success of Kennebec Behavioral Health’s Clubhouses can be attributed to Berry herself.  Having worked for KBH for 18 years, Berry started the first Clubhouse in Maine – High Hopes Clubhouse in Waterville in 1997 and then in 2002 was integral to the opening Capitol Clubhouse in Augusta.  The day-to-day operations of the Clubhouse are the joint responsibility of members and staff, who work side by side. Focus is placed on furthering members’ education while also strengthening their employment skills. “Clubhouses really do change people’s lives,” she stated.  The Clubhouse International accreditation is a high-level endorsement for local Clubhouses which demonstrate appropriate and effective implementation of the evidence-based Clubhouse model, patterned after the original Fountain House which was founded in 1948 in New York City. 

“Looking Ahead is a strong, vibrant Clubhouse community offering a broad range of opportunities to its members. We hope that the Looking Ahead community will take this opportunity to acknowledge the strong community you have created, and celebrate all that you have achieved!” stated Joel Corcoran, Executive Director of Clubhouse International.

For details about Looking Ahead Clubhouse and Kennebec Behavioral Health’s services or supports, go online to www.kbhmaine.org or call 207-873-2136, ext. 1905.

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