WISE Ways to Work

WISE Ways to Work is a program for people living with a mental illness who have employment or other vocational goals. It provides the following skills-development programs and employment supports:
Employ Your Mind (Building skills for work)

Employ Your Mind is an innovative skills development program designed to help people living with mental illness build social and cognitive functioning skills to better achieve employment and community engagement goals.

Participants work with a Vocational Coach to develop skills in four 6-week phases over 6 months. The program includes project work, an online ‘Thinking Gym’, group interaction and exploration of ideas in a safe, fun and encouraging environment. Participants develop self-awareness, build thinking and communication skills, get exposure to work and develop a vocational plan.

Optimal Health Program

The Optimal Health Program (OHP) is a holistic health management program that assists participants in building awareness of and managing their mental, social, emotional, physical, and spiritual wellbeing. OHP is delivered in group sessions over 8 weeks, with a key focus on developing supports and strategies to maintain health and wellbeing. Group discussion, reflection and mutual support are integral to the program’s success.

Individual Employment Support

The WWtW Vocational Coaches (VCs) assist participants look for a suitable employment and prepare for work. After finding a position, we can provide on and off-site support as required. If appropriate, the vocational coach can work with the participant and the employer to adapt the role, and if required, also provide training to co-workers in best-practice mental health workplace support.

Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapists play an important role in supporting you to live to your full potential and enhance your independence with everyday activities. Engagement with our Occupational Therapists can assist you to recognise how your mental illness might affect your day-to-day living and particularly your journey to work. Our Occupational Therapists are skilled in a number of areas, including;

  • mental health management
  • cognitive remediation (CR)
  • social cognition and interaction training (SCIT)
  • evidence-based cognitive, functional and vocational assessments

Occupational therapists can help you to:

  • identify interests and goals (specifically in the area of vocation – work, study or volunteering)
  • manage daily routines at home, community and vocational setting
  • modify daily tasks to make them easier to perform and
  • access activities that you can participate effectively in
Mental Health Peer Support Work

Mental Health Peer Support Workers have lived experience of mental illness. This personal experience allows a meaningful way to connect, empathise and support you to achieve your goals. They draw from their knowledge of having a mental illness and can help identify strategies to maintain wellbeing to help you gain and maintain employment.

Transport Training

We recognise that in order to achieve your vocational goal, there are certain milestones that need to be reached; navigating the public transport system is important to ensure you can attend work. This support will focus on:
– building your confidence in using the public transport system
– improve your daily living skills

WISE Ways to Work as part of NDIS supports

The WISE Ways to Work program is available to NDIS participants, in person or online. Information sessions are held at WISE Employment’s North Melbourne office at 2.30pm on the last Thursday of each month.  If you are interested in taking part, or are a carer or mental health support worker of someone who would benefit, or just want to find out more, please get in touch; we would love to hear from you. See the full WISE Ways to Work information session event details.

For more information on the various employment preparation and support options, please email WISE Ways to Work Program Manager, Kimberley Capocchi.

WISE Ways to Work selection criteria 

WISE Ways to Work is available for those who are:

  • Living with a mental illness
  • Aged 18 or over
  • Interested in work or volunteering
  • Able to get to North Melbourne, or be willing to engage online via tele-health
  • Able to attend while not affected by alcohol or illicit drugs
  • Willing to self-reflect
  • Comfortable in a group setting

If you, your family member or client does not have an NDIS plan but is interested in participating in WISE Way to Work activities, please email WISE Ways to Work Program Manager, Kimberley Capocchi, as we may be able to refer you to a similar program.

Good EGG Program

WISE Ways to Work is developing a network of partner employers. The group is known as the ‘Good EGG (Employment Generation Group) Network’. The Good EGG Network offers work exposure opportunities, training, and employment to participants.

Are you an employer?

Join our Employment Generation Group (EGG). “Good EGGs” are workplace champions who recognise the value of inclusive, flexible workplaces and are committed to creating ‘sunny side up’ employment opportunities for people living with mental health issues.

WISE Ways to Work builds the capacity and confidence of employers to provide mentally healthy and responsive work environments for all staff. Additionally, we can provide specialist assistance in providing adjustments and support for employees with mental illness.

Read more about the Good EGG program that helps more people who have mental health problems into work.

For more information about the Good EGG Program, please email Caroline Crosse or contact 0400 817 454.

WISE Ways to Work is supported by grants from the WISE Community Investment Fund, the Victorian Government, Department of Health and Human Services, and by philanthropic support from the Ian Potter Foundation, Gandel Philanthropy, The Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation and the Hugh Williamson Foundation.

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