Club Itaca is a center for the development of social and working autonomy for people with a history of mental illness. It was founded in 2005 by Progetto Itaca Onlus and realizes, for the first time in Italy, the “Clubhouse model” of social integration, developed by Clubhouse International, an organization that coordinates more than 300 centers in the world, among which more than 70 in Europe. The vision of “Clubhouse international”, shared by the board in Progetto Itaca, is that people affected by mental disorders have the right to integrate into society, succeed in work, have friends and be happy.
The Clubhouse is a day program, not medical, managed with the club formula, in which members are engaged in work units. All activities are meant to recover the rhythm of life and self-confidence; social capacities and specific abilities are developed to increase the autonomy of people and whenever possible to start a job in a company. Participants are not patients but members: they work to strengthen their own abilities. There are no in-house therapeutic programs, which have to be accredited by external professionals. Members are responsible for the Clubhouse and work side by side in the daily management of the Clubhouse, supported by a restricted number of staff. There are no spaces or times dedicated only to members or to staff. The attendance is open and free; enrollment has no expiration date.