Heart Forward Conversations from the Heart

Fountain House and the Promise of the Clubhouse Movement as a Place of Hospitality and Purpose: A conversation with Dr. Ashwin Vasan

December 04, 2020 Kerry Morrison Season 1 Episode 8
Heart Forward Conversations from the Heart
Fountain House and the Promise of the Clubhouse Movement as a Place of Hospitality and Purpose: A conversation with Dr. Ashwin Vasan
Show Notes

Far too often in American communities, people living with mental illness are marginalized from community supports and experience the debilitating impacts of social isolation, loneliness  and even the downward spiral into homelessness or incarceration.   Imagine the countervailing impact of a welcoming place to go – where everyone knows your name – as the theme from “Cheers” reminded us.  This is Fountain House and in this episode, we will hear about how the clubhouse movement offers an alternative; the promise of the therapeutic benefits of social connection and the dignity of vocation and purpose for people living with mental illness in our communities.

Dr. Ashwin Vasan, M.D., Ph.D., is the President and CEO of Fountain House in New York.   An expert in public health policy and political and social advocacy, as well as a primary care physician and academic, Dr. Vasan is committed to improving the lives of vulnerable people. He was hired in September 2019 to lead the advancement of Fountain House’s work around mental illness, homelessness, criminal justice, healthcare, and social welfare for marginalized people and communities. 

Fountain House in New York City was the first clubhouse established in this country back in 1948.  As stated in their mission:  Fountain House is dedicated to the recovery of men and women with mental illness by providing opportunities for our members to live, work, and learn, while contributing their talents through a community of mutual support.

Heart Forward LA is partnering with Fountain House to imagine the possibilities of bringing the clubhouse movement to Los Angeles.  It is no coincidence that several decades ago, Fountain House also inspired people in Trieste as they were imagining how to plant the ethos of the clubhouse culture throughout their entire city.  

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Dr. Ashwin Vasan, CEO of Fountain House, on CDC Study: This is a mental health crisis and we need to act. | Fountain House

Coronavirus a new challenge for many with mental illness (msn.com)