In July of 2010, Urban Pardes, as its first initiative, inaugurated Donald Berman UP House to help Montreal adults living with a mental illness rebuild confidence, purpose and community. It is the first clubhouse in Quebec modeled on Clubhouse International standards (www.clubhouse-intl.org) an association of over 300 clubhouses world-wide.
Donald Berman UP House seeks to remove the barriers of stigma, dependency and isolation that prevent individuals with mental illness from more fully participating in the life of their community.
Donald Berman UP House members are men and women living with chronic persistent mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression. They volunteer their time in a “work-ordered day” to help operate the clubhouse in exchange for the chance to gain skills, access job opportunities and make friends.
Members participate together with staff in taking responsibility for policy and decision-making, all in accord with the Standards Clubhouse International.
Mental illness need not be an obstacle to fulfilling dreams. Donald Berman UP House helps people stay out of hospitals, achieve their personal goals and contribute to the communities they live in.