I learned so much from my tour of Passageway mental health clubhouse in Des Moines, Iowa. I met some wonderful people that have overcome great obstacles. I encourage the other gubernatorial candidates to visit. Passageway would be very excited to give you the tour. Many people I have spoken with, who have struggled with mental health, claim finding a place that will not turn them away and help them re-enter the workforce, is invaluable to them. Passageway does these things and so much more.

The Clubhouse Model of Psycho-social Rehabilitation is a comprehensive and dynamic program of support and opportunities for people with severe and persistent mental illnesses. In contrast to traditional day-treatment and other day program models, Clubhouse participants are called “members” (as opposed to “patients” or “clients”) and restorative activities focus on their strengths and abilities, not their illness. All participation in a clubhouse is strictly on a voluntary basis.

There are four guaranteed rights of membership, which are at the core of the Clubhouse Model:

A right to a place to come; A right to meaningful relationships; A right to meaningful work; and A right to a place to return.

The members and staff of a Clubhouse work side-by-side to manage all the operations of the Clubhouse, providing an opportunity for members to contribute in significant and meaningful ways; therefore, a Clubhouse is operated in a partnership model with members and staff working side-by-side as colleagues. The Clubhouse Model seeks to demonstrate that people with mental illness can successfully live productive lives and work in the community, regardless of the nature or severity of their mental illness. I believe that it would do wonders for people to have access to this model in every community in Iowa. A year of Clubhouse rehabilitation is akin to two years under hospital care. The Clubhouse Model has proven to reduce incarcerations, reduce hospitalizations and recidivism, and it is cost effective compared to the other existing mental health care approaches. I think we need to adjust the way that we fund mental health to better align with this model. I see it as very realistic that with some start-up help from state and local government clubhouses could take off all over the state and work towards independence from state funds.

Please check out www.passagewayiowa.org when you have a chance. They would be happy to give you a tour whether you are a candidate running for office or you are just interested in the Club House model. I am actually raising money for Passageway and you can donate to support the Club House Model at this link. Marco Battaglia’s fundraiser for Passageway and the Club House Model of Mental Health Rehabilitation.


I recently sat down with a citizen concerned with the mental health crisis in Iowa. He was open about his own struggles. We decided to film our first in person meeting and conversation.


Gubernatorial Candidate Marco Battaglia is interviewed by Iowa citizen Ross Trowbridge. Learn more at www.marcoforgovernor.com


Marco Battaglia writes for the Iowa Free Press and is a proud member of The Fourth Estate. Marco Battaglia is running to be Iowa’s 44th Governor, and the first since James W. Grimes not to be from the Democratic or Republican parties. Marco Battaglia firmly believes that Iowans deserve the freedom to choose for themselves what they put into their bodies.

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