The Oak Centre program started as a traditional community mental health program sponsored by the Welland County General Hospital in April of 1985. It was located in the old Nurses Residence behind the hospital. At that time, Oak Centre offered one-to-one counseling, group psychotherapy, life skills training, and social/recreational activities.

In 1987, the Oak Centre changed to a Clubhouse approach in response to clients’ (now called members) request to have meaningful activities in their lives beyond group work and counseling. We began with a modest Work Program which eventually grew into the Clubhouse. Staff was trained at Progress Place in Toronto, the training site for Canada in the Clubhouse approach. In 1990, the Centre was relocated to downtown Welland on East Main Street in order to have storefront access. And, in 1993, the Centre was divested from its sponsoring body and became an independent organization with its own Board of Directors. In 2000 we moved to our current location and purchased the house in 2002 thanks to Ministry support.

The Lake House was opened in Port Colborne in November 2009 with no new funding. Our vision is for every community in Niagara to have a Clubhouse.

Funded by Ontario Health.

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