SOURCE: Conard House

December 14, 2009 09:00 ET

San Francisco Foundation Supports Conard House With New Grant

Ongoing Financial Support Will Broaden Awareness of Self-Management of Mental Illness

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - December 14, 2009) - Conard House, a pioneering nonprofit organization developing resources to help people self-manage mental illness since 1960, today announced the award of a $30,000, one-year grant from The San Francisco Foundation to continue implementation of a five-year strategic mental health education initiative -- Community-Supported Self-Management (CSSM), a treatment methodology based on developing clients' confidence and motivation to use their own skills, information and professional services to take effective control over their life.

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.

"Conard House provides critical mental health services to many of the most vulnerable in our region," said Denise Martin, program officer for community health at The San Francisco Foundation. "Their model of empowering clients to take charge of their own recovery is helping to strengthen our entire community."

This is the third in a series of grants from The San Francisco Foundation. With their support, Conard House will work to broaden their CSSM model to a wider range of mental health consumers and communities, including training courses for Conard House clients, staff and providers, as well as external consumers and providers. Conard House will also develop and implement the next stage of a multi-year public communications plan to educate public and private constituencies about the long term clinical, social and economic benefits of CSSM as a viable health promotion and education strategy for everyone touched by a mental illness.

"We are so honored by the continued support of the San Francisco Foundation," said Richard Heasley, executive director of Conard House. "It is especially meaningful to have the support of such a prestigious local philanthropy because they live in the community where we are enacting change. We hope that with their support we will be successful in expanding our proven self management model to other communities."

For more information on Conard House, please visit:

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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