SOURCE: Conard House

April 28, 2010 11:05 ET

Conard House Completes First Year of Chronic Disease Self-Management Training Licensed by Stanford University

Program Graduates 100 Clients, Staff and Management

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - April 28, 2010) -  Conard House, a pioneering nonprofit organization developing resources to help people self-manage mental illness since 1960, today announced that it has completed the first year of its new Community-Supported Self-Management (CSSM) training. Built upon a program developed by Stanford University School of Medicine Patient Education Research Center, CSSM trains both Conard House staff and clients in the principles and process of self-management of chronic illness. Graduates of the training program now number 100 clients, staff and management.

Currently celebrating its 50th year of service, Conard House has implemented, through its three-year Health Education Program, a structured approach to the self-management of chronic mental and physical conditions. The goal is the empowerment of clients to take an active role in moving toward a healthier life. In addition, CSSM is an efficient and cost effective response to the inadequate and dwindling government support for a large and aging population that includes many who struggle with chronic mental illness, as well as physical health conditions and substance disorders. Much like Stanford's Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP), CSSM explores practical and fundamental ways to improve clients' overall quality of life.

"Our self-management training program is invaluable because of the positive impact on individual clients. As we train more trainers and graduate more clients and staff, we are building momentum for replicating the use of chronic disease self-management among other local and regional mental health organizations," said Richard Heasley, Executive Director of Conard House. "At the recent Spring Conference of the California Association of Social Rehabilitation Agencies (CASRA), nearly 50 participants showed great enthusiasm for 'CSSM: A Strategy for Transformation,' a workshop led by the Conard House team."

Conard House was founded in 1959 by Elaine Mikels, a visionary social worker committed to social justice for all people, especially those outside of traditional society. Recognizing the need for a "normalizing transitional community" for people with mental illness returning to San Francisco from Napa State Hospital, she created the first halfway house in San Francisco, Conard House, named in honor of her social work mentor, Conard Rheiner.

About Conard House
Conard House, Inc. is a private, nonprofit organization providing mental health services to residents of San Francisco. Founded upon core principles of self-empowerment, self-determination and the least restrictive, community-based living, Conard House opened its doors in 1960 as the City's first "halfway house" for adults following hospitalization. Today it serves more than 2,000 people in two dozen locations. Support for its programs and services come from various city agencies, service fees from organizations, rents from residents, grants from foundations and gifts from donors. For more information about Conard House and its programs, please visit

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