WISE Ways to Work
WISE Ways to Work is a new mental health program to help people living with mental illness prepare for the world of work, and be supported on a graded pathway to employment. The program, delivered in North Melbourne, helps participants to build key skills for work such as concentration, memory, problem solving, and mental and physical health management.
Module 1: 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 on skills development in 4 x 6-week phases over 6 months. It includes project work, an online ‘Thinking Gym’, group interaction and exploration of ideas in a safe, fun and encouraging environment. There is also a work orientation component.
Developed in Scotland by Fife Employment Access Trust (FEAT), Employ Your Mind is delivered as part of the WISE Ways to Work program, and is being evaluated by St Vincent’s Mental Health.
Module 2: Transition to work (Practice those skills)
This module includes ‘work tasters’ and more opportunities for work experience as well as the Optimal Health Program to build a personal health and wellbeing management plan.
Module 3: Support at work (Apply those skills)
This module aims to assist participants move from work experience to part-time employment.
Regular social events, group sessions and outdoor adventure activities are available in all the modules to promote peer support and social interactions, and reinforce the skills learned. There is also a component – WISE Champions – for people who want to explore peer work or improve their leadership and advocacy skills.
WISE Ways to Work eligibility criteria – Free to everyone who is:
- Living with a mental illness
- Aged over 18
- Comfortable to read, write and speak at least basic English
- Able to get to North Melbourne at least two times a week
- Able to attend while unaffected by alcohol or illicit drugs
- Willing to self-reflect
- Comfortable in a group setting
- Interested in work or volunteering
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’d love to hear from you.
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 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, and the Hugh Williamson Foundation.