Clubhouse Gibraltar members making Christmas Tree Ornaments

What is a Clubhouse?

A Clubhouse is first and foremost a local community center that offers individuals with mental illness hope and opportunities to achieve their full potential. Much more than simply a program or social service, a Clubhouse is most importantly a community of people who are working together to achieve a common goal.

A Clubhouse is a community intentionally organized to support individuals living with the effects of mental illness. Through participation in a Clubhouse, people are given the opportunities to rejoin the worlds of friendships, family, important work, education, and to access the services and supports they may individually need. A Clubhouse is a restorative environment for people who have had their lives drastically disrupted, and need the support of others who believe that recovery from mental illness is possible for all.


A Clubhouse is a membership organization, and the people who come and participate in a Clubhouse are its members. Membership in a Clubhouse is open to anyone who has a history of mental illness. This idea of membership is fundamental to the Clubhouse concept: being a member of an organization means that an individual has both shared ownership and shared responsibility for the success of that organization. To be a member of an organization means to belong, to fit in somewhere, and to have a place where one is always welcome. In a Clubhouse, each member is given the message that he or she is welcome, wanted, needed and expected each day. The message that each member's involvement is an important contribution to the community is a message that is communicated throughout the Clubhouse day.

Clubhouse Values

Clubhouses are built upon the belief that every member has the potential to sufficiently recover from the effects of mental illness to lead a personally satisfying life as an integrated member of society. Clubhouses are communities of people who are dedicated to one another's success, no matter how long it takes or how difficult it is. Clubhouses are organized around a belief that work, and work-mediated relationships, are restorative and provide a firm foundation for growth and important individual achievement (Beard, Propst, Malamud, 1982), and the belief that normalized social and recreational opportunities are an important part of a person's path to recovery.

Meaningful Relationships

Relationships between members and staff develop naturally as they work together side by side to carry out the daily duties of the Clubhouse. All of the staff have generalist roles in the Clubhouse; they are involved in all of the Clubhouse activities including the daily work duties, the evening social and recreational programs, the employment programs, outreach, supported education and community support responsibilities.  Members and staff share the responsibility for the successful operation of the Clubhouse. Working closely together each day members and staff learn of each others' strengths, talents and abilities. They also develop real and lasting friendships. Because the design of a Clubhouse is much like a typical work or business  environment, relationships develop in much the same way.

The Work-Ordered Day 

The daily activity of a Clubhouse is organized around a structured system known as the work-ordered day. The work-ordered day is an eight-hour period, typically Monday through Friday, which parallels the typical business hours of the working community where the Clubhouse is located. Members and staff work side by side, as colleagues, to perform the work that is important to their community.

Work Units - Where Members and Staff Partnerships Grow

A key part of Genesis Club is Member / Staff Partnerships. Members and staff work together in all aspects of the club. At Genesis Club there are 6 work units to become involved in. Members can choose which unit they would like to join after completing an orientation.

Membership Services

Tours, orientation, outreach to hospitals, community visits, clerical and computer work

Business and Research

Statistics, main switchboard, typing, clerical duties, newsletter publication, and fiscal responsibilities

Food Services

Preparing and serving meals, shopping, ordering food and supplies, kitchen clean up and equipment maintenance.


Career Development

Developing a full array of various employment and education opportunities in the community, data entry.

Cafe and Maintenance

Cashier, counter work, ordering and shopping for supplies, general maintenance, promoting wellness activities.

Training and Development

Coordinating international training, fundraising, marketing, social media/website, community awareness, processesing donations, grant writing.

Meetings open to all Members and Staff Policy Meeting, Program Meeting, Wellness Committee, Young Adult Outreach, Job Seekers Workshop, Seeking Housing Meeting, Grants Meeting, and more.

Emily Adamberry Olivero

Emily Adamberry Olivero

MBE, MBPsS, C.E.O. Clubhouse Gibraltar
Tania Aguilar

Tania Aguilar

MBPsS, Assistant Director
Kevin Fowler

Kevin Fowler

Senior Programs Manager

"Our Vision is to provide an environment that offers hope, respect, dignity and opportunities for the people who are affected by Mental Health Diffculties in Gibraltar"

Clubhouse Gibraltar started in October 2009 when the Clubhouse model for Gibraltar was explored and found to be very suitable for Gibraltar's needs. In December 2010 it was estimated that approximately 50-70 persons could immediately benefit from attending an ICCD Clubhouse in Gibraltar and that around 700 persons are currently under treatment in Gibraltar because they suffer from some form of serious mental illness.