The Personal Helpers and Mentors program (PHaMs) supports people aged 16 years and over whose lives are severely affected by mental illness. The program focuses on the strengths and capabilities of people with mental illness rather than dwelling on the unachievable.
CatholicCare concentrates on recovery and demonstrating that people with a mental illness can lead a fulfilled life in the community with the same opportunities as everyone else. To support them on their journey of recovery CatholicCare allocates a Personal Helper and Mentor to all participants who join the program.
Personal Helpers and Mentors work with each participant in the program to develop personal goals and strategies to help achieve those goals. The program provides opportunities, support and services that help reconnect the individual to their local community, as well as someone to talk to when things aren't going so well.
PHaMs values are mutual respect, compassion, empowerment, collaboration, strong relationships, trust, commitment, flexibility and involvement.
The program values a team approach that involves working with each participant to focus on the outcomes they desire. It is up to the individual to decide what they want to achieve from the program, and the Personal Helper and Mentor will work collaboratively to help attain this.
Personal Helper and Mentor Support may include assisting participants to:
- better manage everyday tasks such as housekeeping, finances and accessing transport
- access appropriate clinical support
- get relationships with family and friends back on track
- get involved in community activities
- connect to other services or programs that may assist the individual including drug and alcohol support, housing or medical support.
Our staff have a range of skills, backgrounds, qualifications and experience to support each participant on the journey to recovery. Personal Helpers and Mentors work in teams made up of qualified people who understand mental illness and the needs and expectations of people with a mental illness. Our workers will encourage families, carers and friends to be involved in the program too, if this is something the participant would like.
As part of our PHaMs program, participants have the option to be linked with our PHaMs Peer Support Worker. The Peer Support Worker has a lived experience of mental health and understands the challenges and victories that occur on the recovery journey. Our Peer Support Worker can provide you with a unique level of support that stems from a position of lived experience.
Participants can self-refer to the program by calling (02) 6539 5900. Please note that a formal diagnosis is not required to join the PHaMs program.