Friends staff, together with a group of approximately 60 volunteers, help people back on their feet by partnering with the Hospital to offer complementary services and activities which target each aspect of the recovery process - whether it be teaching independent living skills, building vital self-esteem, improving physical activity, teaching work skills or providing the practical support to make recovery possible.
• Recovery groups:
Volunteers lead activity groups which complement formal therapy by developing essential life skills, building self-esteem, improving physical activity, providing spaces to de-stress and contemplate their recovery or teaching work skills.
• Skills development:
Service users are given the opportunity to learn skills that can be taken back to their communities and used to make a living:
- Retail skills: Friends has recently extended the Friendly Shop to open a Tuckshop at the hospital where people with psychiatric disability are given the opportunity to learn skills in retail, food services, business administration etc while developing work readiness.
- Barber skills: Our Hair Salon started out as a Beauty Therapy project improving self-esteem and confidence and has now developed into a training ground for prospective hair dressers.
• Basic Needs:
This service not only provides vital practical assistance to recovery, but also promotes dignity and self-esteem
• Recreational recovery and events:
These events bring joy to a tough time in life, help people stay connected to their communities and offer opportunities for socializing.
• Hospital Staff Support:
Medical staff at Valkenberg do exceptional work under challenging conditions. It is vital to boost morale as well as improve service delivery by providing the means for staff to develop new initiatives and expand services to patients.
• Awareness raising and destigmatising:
Recovery is hampered by ignorance and stigma. Friends tackles this by speaking to our community though various media in order to give people the facts about mental illness, breaking down myths and showing people that recovery is possible.