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Round Rock Clubhouse Offers People with Mental Illness Hope and Opportunities

Commissioner Cook's Oped

  • 22 March 2018
  • Author: Doris Sanchez
  • Number of views: 4362

Commissioner Cook is pictured with members of the Pavilion Board.

The Office of Research and Public Affairs reports that approximately 20 percent of jail inmates and 15 percent of state prison inmates today have a serious mental illness. In Williamson County, 17.9 percent of the people in our jail have a mental health concern.  

Criminal justice system involvement has also been found to be substantially diminished during and after clubhouse participation.

Group photo: The Pavilion Board of Directors are (left to right) Ben Miller; Anne Griffith; Gordon Butler, executive director; Gisele Schaefer, chair; Lee Bergeron; Bill Hopple; Commissioner Terry Cook; and Travis Black, secretary. Not pictured are Dr. Rose Herr, treasurer (Pharmacist); the Rev. Catherine Craley, PhD (Doctorate of Ministry); and Billy Ray Reese, PhD (Doctorate in Ministry).

“Beginning in 2011, Bexar County experienced jail overcrowding. Providing mental health treatment in the county jail was costing taxpayers $250 per day,” said Aurora Sanchez, former executive director of Bexar County’s Department of Community Resources and now a resident of Williamson County.  “The County Commissioners’ decision to support the San Antonio Clubhouse in 2013 resulted in significant savings to taxpayers. This program continues to provide self-governance activities and employment opportunities for 45 persons. Happily, none of these program participants had any intersection with the justice system.”

Pavilion members who get in trouble with the law can receive help. On average, the recidivism rate for this population is somewhere between 30 and 40 percent, but studies indicate that programs like Pavilion help lower that recidivism rate to below 10 percent.

Clubhouse members are more likely to report that they have close friendships and someone they can rely on when they need help. Pavilion cites a study showing that clubhouses enhance mental and physical health by reducing isolation. Many members remain as volunteers after finding employment. 

Pavilion, currently at 40 members, is open to any adult with a history of mental illness; however, the clubhouse is looking for its own location and welcomes donations. They currently share space with LifeSteps Council on Mays Street.

For more information or to donate, please call 512-417-2767 or visit http://pavilionrr.org/ or on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pavilionrr/. On twitter use @pavilionrr. 

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