Capital Clubhouse Gala Features Author Kay Redfield Jamison

Capital Clubhouse held its third annual fundraising gala and silent auction at the historic DAR Museum Library and O'Byrne Gallery on November 10, 2016. Two hundred guests bid on vacation houses and getaways and enjoyed food from ten local chefs who contributed signature hors d'oeuvres and desserts. The event helped raise over $50,000 for Capital Clubhouse, which expects to open its doors in Washington DC in 2017.

Kay Redfield Jamison, noted author, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, and co-director of Mood Disorders Center at John's Hopkins Hospital, was the keynote speaker. Jamison is considered the country's leading expert on bi-polar disease and has written several best-selling books on her own personal struggles with manic depression, including An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Mood and Madness, and Touched with Fire: Manic Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament.

Jamison noted that clubhouses, first started in 1944, have become an important and effective compliment to clinical treatment in aiding recovery from mental illness: "I am on the clinical side of treating mental health issues, but recovery is so much more than just taking a pill; structure, friendship, a sense of community, and not feeling alone are the keys to helping people overcome mental illness." Jamison told the audience that her first experience with manic depression "came out of nowhere" when she was a teenager and that her family had no inkling how to respond or help her get treatment. In fact, Jamison did not realize she was bi-polar until she was three months into her first job as a professor of psychiatry at UCLA's Department of Psychology, when she found herself succumbing to the same exhilarating highs and catastrophic depressions that afflicted many of her patients.

Jamison spoke from the position of both the healer and the healed, revealing her struggles to understand the disease and the cruel allure that at times prompted her to resist taking medication. Jamison believes that a diagnosis does not mean the end of a rich and productive life, with her own example serving as powerful proof of recovery and accomplishment.

Jamison's latest book, Robert Lowell, Setting the River on Fire, A Study of Genius, Mania, and Character, was just published by Penguin Random House.


Capital Clubhouse Inc is a 501(c)3 organization, located in Washington, DC.