New York City to Reach More New Yorkers With Serious Mental Illness With Community Mental Health Support

The city is beginning the procurement process to expand capacity to serve New Yorkers with serious mental illness in clubhouses.

Clubhouses support people experiencing serious mental illness by helping build social connections, get resources, gain supported employment and educational services, and find a supportive community of peers.

October 2, 2023 — The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is releasing a new request for proposals to bring community services and supports to more New Yorkers living with serious mental illness. The city will expand its commitment to the Clubhouse model described in the Mayor’s Care, Community, and Action Mental Health Plan through a $30 million investment of city and state dollars to expand the model. This reflects a doubling of the current investment in Clubhouses.

“Clubhouses are important spaces that break social and economic isolation and improve health, by creating community for our friends, families and neighbors with serious mental illness,,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan. “Thousands of people live with serious mental illness and are at increased risk for social isolation, which can be extremely harmful to physical and mental health. Clubhouses are important anchor institutions in our community mental health system, and when combined with stable housing and treatment, form the ‘three legs of a stool’ to allow people with serious mental illness the chance to live and thrive in the community. They are also an ‘early warning system’ to prevent mental health crises, where people with serious mental illness at risk for crises can be supported early and often before decompensating. Taking this first step to expand the availability of these critical hubs brings us closer to a vision of a better mental health system, and a healthier New York City.”

The Health Department anticipates an expansion in clubhouse membership of 3,750 individuals in addition to the 5,000 members already served through clubhouses. The request for proposals represents the City’s renewed commitment to not only expanding access, but enhancing clubhouse quality, improving member experience, and expanding connections into the rest of the health and social services safety net, increasing referral pathways to support those with serious mental illness in finding a safe and productive experience in the community.

The deadline to apply is November 22, 2023 and funding will be awarded by July 1, 2024.

Clubhouses offer peer support, help finding employment and educational opportunities and connection to city resources in an environment that promotes autonomy. The model has been shown to reduce hospitalization and contact with the criminal legal system, and improv members’ health and wellness.

The clubhouse expansion was included in the Mayor’s Blueprint for Community Safety in recognition that safety and individual wellbeing are promoted through connection to supports and services.

The city's mental health agenda, Care, Community, Action: A Mental Health Plan for New York City, acknowledges the striking need for access to mental health resources and establishes supporting people with serious mental illness as a central pillar to the health of the city. Among those goals is a commitment to increase clubhouse capacity in high-need areas citywide through both City investments and public-private partnerships.



MEDIA CONTACT: Patrick Gallahue/Rachel Vick