Out Doors piloted a Mentor Program in 2009 and 9 participants joined.
The 10-week program focuses on participants gaining a number of skills. Out Doors ensures that opportunities are available for the participants to be able to practice their learned skills by attending various programs as a mentor to other participants, attending forums/conferences and meeting various agencies. Various educational, employment and volunteer organisations are encouraged to support the program.
The Mentor program addresses a number of areas including:
- the promotion of community awareness of the issues faced by people living with a mental illness and demystifying the stigma attached to it;
- providing the skills and support to a group of people living with a mental illness with the aim of empowering them to participate in the community as well as advocate on behalf of others living with a mental illness;
- building leadership skills and self-confidence to a group of participants who are isolated and have difficulties in participating in the community due to their lack of self-esteem and self-worth.
Mentors provide assistance and support to both participants and staff. Their contribution to the smooth running of trips is invaluable and their own development is of great benefit to the organisation, the participants and the wider community.
It has been very successful and all of our mentors are now involved in the community, either through work, study, travel or other community groups. We currently have only two active Mentors in our service.
Out Doors recently received funding from the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation to run another Mentor Program which will commence in the first half of 2012.