Executive Director, Clubhouse International
As Executive Director of Clubhouse International, Joel is a global advocate and entrepreneur working on behalf of millions of people living mental illness. A Clubhouse is an evidence-based-practice founded on the belief that even the most disabled can sufficiently recover and improve their lives with the help of a supportive community. The Clubhouse model provides pathways to meaningful social inclusion, work and wellbeing. First developed in New York in 1948 by a small group of former psychiatric hospital patients, the model has gained international recognition, scaling to more than 330 Clubhouses operating in 34 countries and growing. Joel works throughout the world to promote and support the development and quality of new and existing Clubhouse programs. With the assistance of a large Clubhouse International network he helps local communities in many countries and cultures create enduring resources and opportunities for people living with mental illness. Prior to Clubhouse, Joel worked in large psychiatric hospitals, as an administrator for a multi-state mental health agency and advocated locally and nationally for mental health services reform. He is a passionate champion for the rights of people living with mental illness, and the importance of their involvement in the design of services and systems that support dignity, opportunity and recovery.