This new Mental Health Initiative (set up in 2021) 'sits' within the broad area of Additional Supports for Apprentices as a response to the challenges and impacts of the global pandemic and generally to provide a positive, dynamic and empowering 'space' for our apprentices. We know that in 2018, there were 352 recorded deaths through suicide in Ireland, of these 282 were male. Although the highest rate was with males aged 25-35, we feel that our interventions could positively impact future figures.
Our vision was to create a more inclusive environment for apprentices at Phase 2 from a broad perspective:
Our vision for the mental health support service was:
WWETB is the key stakeholder of this intervention, internally there are multiple layers of involvement with vital links to many external stakeholders. Care is an intrinsic element of our ethos within FET, evidenced by the holistic approach of our Additional Support staff and instructors.
Ensuring that those who are the most vulnerable have their needs met in a supportive way, through accessing a simplified pathway to Mental Health Supports through our Adlerian Psychotherapist as well as general mental health information available throughout their journey in Apprenticeship.
Our internal stakeholders include:
The external stakeholders include:
The messages from all internal stakeholders: self care and building resilience. The counsellor operates within the space of the 'lived experience' and making this 'simplified pathway' actionable. The partnership approach promotes greater ownership regarding the challenges, facilitates capacity building, supports the development of interdepartmental structures (that have previously worked in isolation) will improve its sustainability chances).
The 'Speak Easy' project is a focused and targeted approach keeping the apprentices and their needs at the core of developments. Their voice is the lead indicator of change.
What did we need to know to set up this support:
Main issues: Mental, physical health and emotional problems including anxiety, depression, relationship problems, addictions, and relationships.
We know that there is a very strong link between educational attainment and self esteem/mental health and emotional wellbeing and as educators, we need to address the gaps by creating processes and systems that sign post to appropriate services (internally and externally). We understand that suicide remains a complex issue requiring evidenced and targeted approaches and interventions across many sectors and feel that connecting the expertise with the need is our first line of defence.
Our Psychotherapist works one to one face to face, in groups and runs art therapy groups She works as part of a multi-disciplinary team such as in disability services, student support and guidance. Referral is often through learner support or coordinators, but self-referral is possible and encouraged.
ETBI Piper's Hill, Kilcullen Road, Naas, Co Kildare, Ireland
+353 (0)45-901070 Email firstname.lastname@example.org