I wish to thank Mark Roth and the Post-Gazette staff for an informative series on mental health ("One Man's Journey into Schizophrenia" on Jan. 27 and "Separating Fact from Fiction on Mental Illness, Violence" on Jan. 28). I found this series enlightening, and particularly appreciated the emphasis on schizophrenia.
Mr. Roth did a fine job of describing schizophrenia and its conventional treatment. However, I would like to put forth another road to recovery. It is called the "Clubhouse Model." It is a proactive, strength-based mode which is practiced by two clubhouses in the Pittsburgh area, the Howard Levin Clubhouse of which I am a member and the Penn Avenue Place. These two clubhouses practice the positive psycho-social model that emphasizes strengths rather than weaknesses and work as a road to recovery for people with major mental illnesses.
The Clubhouse Model uses work in the private sector, called "transitional employment" as a rehabilitation and recovery tool. Transitional employment is work in the private sector that is designed to increase self-esteem and prepare the member for full recovery in the broader community. Transitional employment positions are aimed at facilitating the member's recovery along with building job skills. We believe that this work builds self-esteem and social skills that are necessary in the work life.
I wish to thank Mr. Roth on his fine writing and research into schizophrenia. I believe he has done a great service to the community.
MICHAEL P. HOGAN