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.) 


Fairweather is a Umbrella

A post by Bruce Ario

            I like to think of Fairweather and the Lodge as an umbrella shielding clients from the rain. What rain, you ask? I don’t know everyone else’s experiences, but for a long time, my life was a storm. Psychiatrists call it symptoms, but I put it in more natural terms – rain.

            The situation does get bad enough that doctors must come in with their interventions. However, if I can also think of it as rain, then there’s something other clients can help me with as well. A song in the 60’s goes, “I want to know, who will stop the rain?” Well, Fairweather clients, specifically Lodge clients, have given me an umbrella while the sky clears up.

            It’s not really as magical as it might appear; it’s caring and providing hope – legwork. I guess it could be seen as magical, kudos to John Trepp’s “Lodge Magic”, the way clients are driven to produce this umbrella. Why should they even care? I think it’s human instinct to help someone who’s down. Providing an umbrella is another way to buy time.

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