What's the Problem?

Persistent mental illness and substance abuse are a devastating disruption to a person's life that separates and isolates the person and sometimes their families from normal life. 1 in 5 American adults suffer from mental illness and/or substance abuse which translates in roughly 90,000 citizens in Williamson County. Texas is in last place among states in spending on mental health/substance abuse and so we focus our state's resources on hospitalization, rehab, and crisis care. There are very few long term recovery options to help people find ways to get out of this vicious cycle and become a productive, independent, happy part of our community again.

Not only does this situation often put unbearable pressure on our families and communities, there is the economic cost to our county as well. Lost wages and productivity, expensive hospitalizations, homelessness, and criminal justice involvement add up to an estimated annual $300 million dollar impact for Williamson County.

How Pavilion Helps - Higher Employment

There have been several studies that show that an organization like ours (see ICCD.org for more details) produce higher rates of employment, longer job tenures, and higher pay than other programs helping those living with mental illness and/or substance abuse. A recent study of 25 clubhouses in Massachusetts showed an annual combined earnings of $11 million dollars among its members, most of whom were on disability before becoming a member of a clubhouse there.

Here in Texas, our four existing clubhouses have shown that we can help people find employment within an average of 68 days, compared to the 701 days it takes on average for DARS (our state agency tasked with helping people on disability find jobs) to find people like our members find work.

In addition, our Executive Director wrote the manual on how Texas can improve helping people living with disability find work. He should know. He has helped hundreds of people get back into the workplace!

Hospitalizations and Healthcare

In one study/survey taken in 2016, 73 percent of members who had been previously hospitalized indicated it was the clubhouse environment that enabled them to stay out of the hospital. Another study shows that membership in an organization like Pavilion can reduce hospitalizations by over one/third.

In a study done by the Maryland Public Health System in 2016 (in conjunction with John Hopkins Medical School) shows that the state of Maryland saved $10,182 per active clubhouse member per year.  Using that metric, Pavilion, with just 50 members, could save $500,000 in healthcare costs each year!

Why? Because Pavilion can give its members self-confidence, a sense of community, purpose, and hope. Those are powerful tools when recovering from mental illness and substance abuse. 

Law and the Courts

Run-ins with the law seem, for a variety of reasons, to be a consequence of mental illness and/or substance abuse. A man diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder attacks someone else, believing that the other person is meaning harm. A woman addicted to meth gets pulled over for DUI. In Williamson County, an estimated 35 percent of county inmates have a diagnosable mental illness with many more inmates struggling with substance abuse. Studies show that involvement with an organization like Pavilion reduces criminal justice system involvement.

In fact, a study done in San Antonio shows that, among those who have mental illness and have been arrested, 64 percent have been arrested again within 18 months of the previous arrest. Of those involved with the clubhouse in San Antonio who have been previously arrested, only 6 percent were arrested again. 6 percent!

Pavilion can be a key factor in helping to reduce incarcerations in Williamson County.

Improved Well-Being (Happier!)

With closer friendships through organizations like Pavilion and peers they can rely on, studies show that clubhouse members report a significantly higher sense of well being. In fact, a study of the four clubhouses in Texas and their members show the following - 

  • 84% stated that their mental health has improved.
  • 81% have indicated that they are more hopeful about the future.
  • 74% told the survey that they are more independent as a person due to clubhouse involvement.
That is our ultimate goal - happier and healthier people!