Target group: mental health problems
Activity: integrated facility, individually tailored

“Supported employment in the Clubhouse”
(in Finnish “Klubitalolta tuetusti töihin”)

“The clubhouse model is a best practice on a national level as many studies have proven. Our members wouldn’t be employed without this project.”

The organisation

Supported employment in the Clubhouse (in Finnish: “Klubitalolta tuetusti töihin”) runs two Clubhouses in Helsinki: Helsingin Klubitalo and Itä-Helsingin Klubitalo. The parent organization is Helsingin Klubitalot ry. It works for people with mental illness and on their position in the society, helping them to stay out of hospitals while achieving social, financial, educational, vocational and employment goals, running two Clubhouses in Helsinki (names: Helsingin Klubitalo and Itä-Helsingin Klubitalo). The clubhouse is for people with mental illness, who they refer to as members. Both Clubhouses follow the international Clubhouse model (about the Clubhouse model you can reed more on ).

The Clubhouse model includes the ambition to help its members to employment. The Clubhouse offers its own Transitional Employment programme (TE) which provides -as a right of membership- opportunities for members to work on job placements in the labour market. Also, the Clubhouse model in theory prescribes to offer its own Supported (SE) and Independent Employment (IE) programme. In practice the Clubhouses have done TE well, but they do not have enough resources to do SE and IE. That is the reason why they have founded a project to develop SE and IE as well as they do TE. In the meantime, they offer courses and groups with themes such as job applications, skill analyses, IT and hygiene and the project worker seeks for external SE and IE placements.

The clubhouse model includes a work-ordered day system. That means that members and staff are working side by side doing Clubhouses own tasks (for example cleaning, administration, research, or work in the restaurant and cafe). All work in the Clubhouse is designed to help members regain self worth, purpose and confidence; it is not intended to be job specific training. TE, SE and IE jobs are normal labour positions given to members(such as library work, market assistance, catering and cleaning).


The key results are that their members have moved on to the more permanent SE and IE labour market (TE is always temporary). Hence, their economical situation has improved, meaning less social security support. Moreover, the members generally gain more self-esteem and their role as members of society has changed as citizen.

The main goal is to stimulate people towards regular paid employment. This is done through the offering of SE and IE placement possibilities for members, educating staff about supported employment possibilities, and developing a good practice model for Clubhouses in Finland. In the past 4,5 years 31 members have gotten employment (usually part-time), 6 have started to study, 14 have interned or had a work experience period, 33 have participated in the job application course or group, and 4 have remained on the same level.

Because the participants have mental illness, results might not be visible straight away; members need time to recover and some of them might need this kind of support for the rest of their life. While the project thusfar only received temporary funding, they are striving to make it a permanent project through discussions with the national ministry of labour affairs and local officers.

More information

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Tg: (ex) offenders
Activity: gardening/agriculture, integrated services, environmentally friendly

Roots to Freedom

The organisation

“Roots to freedom” is a nature based rehabilitation project for adult inmates in Kerava Prison in Finland in which garden and nature-based activities are offered both in open and closed prison. The aim is to create a wholesome nature-based rehabilitation-model, where an invididual path is created from the prison to civil life. They offer after-care once the sentence is over. They are also doing an evaluation of the method and its effects on prisoners. The project runs under the authority of Criminal Sanctions Agency in co-operation with Kriminaalihuollon tukisäätiö (NGO), a non profit aftercare foundation (for released prisoners and their families). It has been running since March 2013, and is expected to end in December 2014, based on funding from the European Social Fund.

Kerava prison has many different work-places, but in this project the prisoner works on nature based activities (in the garden, with animals, doing farm-work, working on natural parks doing developmental work, etc..) or construction work around Kerava prison. The prisoners take part in rehabilitating group-sessions that are based on Green Care activities and every prisoner has one-on-one sessions, in order to develop individual plans for after prison life.

The overall aim of the project is to create a wholesome rehabilitation model in Kerava prison, that includes group sessions, professional work/ education and personalised casework that continues after the prison sentence is over. The ideology is nature-based activities and nature-based thinking.


They have had 45 inmates taking part so far, and it seems that the numbers are only increasing.

The key results of the project are the enabling of re-integration back to society through training of self-reflection and self-understanding, as well as a possibility to start over in life through education or work while in prison and to continue that path after prison.

All participants acquire an ecological way of thinking, and they gain responsibility, social skills, not losing one´s temper so quickly, respecting others and yourself and nature/society, horticultural skills, looking after weaker creatures (such as animals and flowers), etc. They develop those skills with the goal of moving on to regular paid employment. At the time of writing they did not yet have any numbers regarding paid employment because only few prisoners had been released so far. One of the ex-detainees continued studying in civil life.

In the beginning it was quite challenging to motivate prison staff to be active in the project, also creating something completely new inside a very strict prison-system, where safety is always priority number one, but they managed to do so successfully. So far they have had extremely good results considering that the project is only in the beginning. Nature-based activities were reported to activate inmates, give opportunities to strengthen self-efficacy by using former knowledge and skills and learning new ones, and to increase confidence in coping after discharge. Group activities contributed to the social interaction among inmates, and between inmates and staff. Through positive feedback from others, inmates identified favourable characteristics in themselves, which encouraged mutual relationships. Nature-based activities proved to be a means to execute on-site activities supporting rehabilitation by creating affordances of everyday life in a restricted environment.

To make their activities more sustainable, they have permanent prison staff members on the team, so once the project workers leave the permanent staff can continue the good work. Also they have been able to liaise with local professional educational schools that are willing to co-operate with Kerava prison even after the project is finished.

More information


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