Vail Place Focuses on Collective Work for Mental Health


Minn Post did a feature story last week on Vail Place, an alternative mental health treatment center run on a community “clubhouse” model where the nearly 900 members and staff work side by side to execute the center’s activities. Vail Place was founded in Hopkins, Minnesota in the early eighties by mental health activists and family members as a community for psychosocial rehabilitation.  “The work isn’t therapy,” a member explains. “It’s growth. It’s ‘I cans’ rather than ‘I can’ts.’ And that’s important for mental health and survival.”

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  1. 900 “members” engaged in unpaid minimum intensive labor. Imagine what you could do with 900 people working at a real job? Sorry, that requires too much imagination because then somebody would have to do some hiring. Nonetheless, we have our “psychosocial rehabilitation”. It’s kind of like doctor and nurse, dolls and soldiers, for would-be adults, or is it would-be children? I know there are all sorts of ways to kill time, but as a person who has been subjected to the “clubhouse” kind of nonsense, do you know any more productive ways? Oh, yeah, and pounding the sidewalk in pursuit of paid employment counts.

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