PRIME TIME HOUSE, INC


One House, Many Stories

Our History


Prime Time House began as Cooks Vocational Enterprises in 1988 with two grants from the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services - one for providing vocational services and the other to rovide psychosocial services to adults with mental illness in Litchfield County. It was established early on that the "Clubhouse Model" was the best practice in delivering these services.  Program participants decided having a clubhouse was their "prime time" to take advantage of what was being offered, and the name has stayed with the organization since. In the early 1990's the name of the organization changed to Prime Time House, Inc. Having resided in 3 different locations since its inception, the Board of Directors purchased the property at 810 Main Street in Torrington in 1996 where our campus currently exists. 


When you walk into Prime Time Clubhouse, you will immediately notice that we are different from other mental health programs.  We are a program where all members are needed, wanted and appreciated.  Our goal is to help members establish a foundation of skills that can be utilized in the greater community.  Members are involved in all aspects of the operation of the Clubhouse program.  All of us at the Clubhouse believe in individual abilities and strengths as opposed to a diagnosis or illness.  Together, staff and members work side by side on achieving our goals and aspirations in an effort to better our Clubhouse community and ourselves as individuals. Prime Time Clubhouse has been a member of Clubhouse International since 1990.  We are one of over 300 Clubhouses around the world that follows the International Standards for Clubhouse programs.


Prime Time House aims to address identified needs with increased community services.  The agency has grown from a single “Clubhouse Model” of psychiatric rehabilitation into to a leading community mental health provider.  Our services now encompass an evidence based supported employment program, and a tenant based supported housing program.


The History of Clubhouses
Fountain House, located on West 47th Street in Manhattan was an innovator of psychiatric rehabilitation, and some scholars believe that the Fountain House was the first community based rehabilitation program in the United States. E.Fuller Torrey, MD, a noted psychiatrist, researcher and author, stated that Fountain House was the best kept secret in the mental health field for decades. Started in 1948, Fountain House predated the Kennedy Administration's Community Mental Health Act of 1963, a response to the dismal outcome of the deinstitutionalization of the chronically mentally ill in the beginning of that decade. Fountain House began when a group of patients were discharged from a psychiatric hospital and met together informally as a kind of "club".  It was organized to be a support system for people living with mental illness, rather than a service or treatment plan. They called themselves WANA, for We Are Not Alone. It was an opportunity for them to relate to others who were dealing with the same obstacles or concerns.  It was not until the 1970's that programs began to be widely replicated throughout the world, modeling themselves after Fountain House and embracing the term "Clubhouse" because it clearly communicates the message of membership, belonging, and equality. This message is at the heart of the clubhouse way of working. From approximately 1975 to 1985 over 500 Clubhouse programs started in over 20 countries. Today there are over 300 Clubhouse certified by Clubhouse International in 32 countries.  


Learn more about our Clubhouse program