The Coalition for Community Living Blog


The purpose of this blog is to spread the news of an incredible and under-utilized community mental health model known as the “Fairweather Lodge.”  (The “Lodge” model, sometimes known as the “Community Lodge,” is often referred to as the “Fairweather Lodge” in reference to the late George W. Bill Fairweather, who developed the model in the early 1960s.) 


The Importance of Having Peers

A post by Bruce Ario

Some people seemingly go through life never having what they think of as peers. They might have friends, co-workers, fellow students, etc. but they don’t take it to the level of peers. They might feel like they’re not good enough, or conversely that they’re better than others. I think that’s a shame.

            I feel quite fortunate that I have peers in my Fairweather Program. I didn’t initially feel that way. I was an individualist or so I thought. Eventually when I looked back I understood how I had been interdependent my whole life. Any fantasies that I did my whole life on my own was based on fleeting fits of self-grandeur and shallow characteristics that could never give me the life I have now in Fairweather. In fact, upon reflection, Jesus was the only individualist I could respect, and even he had disciples.

            Having peers who you’re interdependent with is a safe choice despite the work involved. And it is work. You make yourself vulnerable to a group of people, yet ask for their respect. People generally give respect but it is earned, not a given. You get respect when you’re sharing the load, and working on your weak points.

            A Lodge can’t function unless everyone is a strong contributing member. But we aren’t Arnold Schwarzenegger or Stephen Hawking. People need wiggle room. It’s a great talent to know how much to give. This is something you learn through trial and error. So everybody in the Lodge has a place, and that is a comfort.

Total: 1 Comment(s)
Michael Fontana
Having peers at the Fairweather Lodge is a great help to myself. Especially when I'm going through mental issues. The idea that we are never alone.
Wednesday, September 15, 2021 · reply ·
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