Treating Chronic Illness

"Self-management is seen as an integral, even central, part of the system of care provided to people with chronic diseases. Patient self-management … programmes are not simply about educating patients about their condition or giving them relevant information – they are based on developing patients' confidence and motivation to use their own skills, information and professional services to take effective control over life with a chronic condition."


A Proven Treatment

"Whether one is engaging in a health promoting activity such as exercise or is living with a chronic disease such as asthma, he or she is responsible for day to day management … One cannot not manage. If one decides not to engage in a healthful behavior or not to be active in managing a disease, this decision reflects a management style. Unless one is totally ignorant of healthful behaviors it is impossible not to manage one's health. The question is how one manages. The issue of self-management is especially important for those with chronic disease, where only the patient can be responsible for his or her day to day care over the length of the illness. For most of these people, self-management is a lifetime task."

Kate Lorig, DrPH and Halsted Holman, MD
Stanford University School of Medicine, 2000

I am many things to many people. A brother, an uncle, your youngest son. Your classmate, a co-worker, your friend. I am living with bipolar disorder but I am not my diagnosis.

We have been helping people recover their mental health since 1960. Our humanizing approach remains as critically necessary as mainstream psychiatry.  We do our work in the real world where people live, work, struggle and hope for health and wellbeing.  And how does work promote recovery?

Think of housing as a primary health intervention.

Think of individual support services as a secondary intervention.

Think of the health benefits of building communities that are welcoming, caring and empowering.

We count on your generosity to help us do that.

Do a good thing for health and wellbeing for all.
Please donate today.


About Conard House

For more than 50 years, Conard House has provided effective, community-based resources for San Francisco's vulnerable adults living with serious mental health issues. Every day, clients working with our skilled team find healthy pathways to recovery, and those resources — including a combination of counseling, treatment, programs and other services — in order to self-manage chronic medical and mental illnesses.

Each year, Conard House serves more than 1,600 adults by:

  • Creating welcoming, caring and empowering communities
  • Fostering personal insight into illness and recovery
  • Promoting long-term independent living; providing access to secure, well-maintained housing
  • Helping our clients understand and negotiate the public mental health and health systems of care
  • Restoring hope


A Client's Perspective

"If the community was more aware of what they're [people living with mental illness] going through, I think it would be better for us all and people would be more apt to help people with mental illness instead of laugh at them or ostracize them or distance themselves from them. It would be better for all [to] be inclusive for the mentally ill, instead of exclusive. I think we got a long way to go, but we've come a long way. …until everybody's included, we haven't gone far enough. If one person is left out, then we haven't gone far enough in helping the disabled like myself."

Client, 2008