Local charity Positive Pathways is celebrating one year of providing support to people who have experienced mental health difficulties in the past, enabling them to train, gain experience and develop their self-confidence within employment.
AIMS OF THE CHARITY
- To provide Job opportunities and experience, in conjunction with Clubhouse Gibraltar’s Transitional Employment Program (TEP), for people who are/have been affected by Mental Health problems.
- To support people affected by Mental Health problems, with the opportunities to access education, training courses and attend conferences.
- To support people who are dealing/have dealt with Mental Health problems to enable them to work towards independent living.
- To work in partnership with Clubhouse Gibraltar in delivering Mental Health First Aid courses.
Positive Pathways has been working in partnership with Clubhouse Gibraltar, other mental health charities, local businesses and Gibraltar Government to explore ways to fund this project and create opportunities for members of the Gibraltar community with Mental Health difficulties, who have been long term unemployed and feel they would like to return to work.
Positive Pathways is supporting Clubhouse Gibraltar’s Transitional Employment Program (TEP) in offering its members’ opportunities to work in different sectors of employment. The current project is within the catering and hospitality sector, by running the cafeteria at Ocean Views Facility.
Over the last 12 months the Positive Pathways has:
- Provided an employment placement for six persons under the TEP program. One of which has been successful in securing employment.
- Clubhouse members have worked a total of 578 hours over the past year.
- Placements have given individuals a sense of purpose.
"Working in the Cafeteria gives me a reason to get up in the morning. If I didn’t have this TEP opportunity, I would just sit at home and start thinking about things, then my negative thoughts begin and my depression kicks in. I have been diagnosed with Bi-polar disorder". A.G.
- Employees expressed an increase in confidence and self-esteem. With regards to their employability, increased personal awareness, goals and aspirations for the future.
- TEP employees have completed Level 1 Food and Safety Course.
- Employees were supported in developing life skills and vocational skills such as customer care, using a cash till and general kitchen skills.
- With support by using the Recovery Star Model and regular supervision, employees felt able to increase the hours worked and their standard and sense of responsibility throughout their placement.
"I know that I can ring when I am having an off day due to my mental health problems, and there is no risk of losing my job. When I come back to work we can talk about why I couldn’t come to work and try and put things in place so it doesn’t happen again". B.O.
- Positive Pathways have delivered 8 Mental Health First Aid Courses and trained nearly 100 people to become Mental Health First Aiders.
- Catering for events held by Clubhouse Gibraltar and Mental Health First Aid Courses.
Mental Health First Aid, provides people with an awareness of mental health as well as the tools to have sensitive conversations and develop communication skills such as listening skills. Positive Pathways staff have been trained as Mental Health First Aiders, this has enabled them to support Clubhouse TEP employees and provide a listening ear to patients, staff and visitors at Ocean Views Complex (Mental Health Facility, Hillside and Bella Vista).
Some TEP employees have been patients of Ocean Views, while working in the cafe they have acted as role models to others, giving current patients hope for recovery. Positive Pathways has acted as a bridging service for Ocean Views patients, who have accessed Clubhouse services and enrolled in educational courses.
SUPPORT & FUNDRAISING
Along with support from local business, Positive Pathways has been working in partnership with other charities and organisations to tackle mental health stigma and increase mental health awareness. During the past 12 months they have organised flag days, quiz nights, delivering Mental Health First Aid Training and received donations.
Positive Pathways is working with Clubhouse Gibraltar and local businesses to develop a scheme where they could support and develop Transitional Employment Placements (TEPs) in other fields.
If you are interested in supporting this scheme in any way please contact Clubhouse Gibraltar.