The PreEmploy program at Surry Hills includes “Recovery Days” every so often, and Panorama was lucky enough to be able to sit in on one. Warren Heggarty asks the group…

“What motivates me?”

Patricia facilitating PreEmploy.jpg

(Above) Peer Worker Patricia facilitating a group during Recovery Day at PEI.

Photos and story by Warren Heggarty

As many of you know, PreEmploy is a program in which people can gain work experience and training to help prepare them for life in the open workforce. As well as doing three days a fortnight on-the-job work experience, they have one day a fortnight which they dedicate to resume building, learning interview techniques, and other aspects of job seeking. They also look at RECOVERY, what it means to them, and how it works. Recovery Days are devoted to the latter aspect of the PEI program.

To start off, and to get everyone’s brains warmed up, Patricia Dell’Olio facilitated a word puzzle session. Later on, Jade Ryall, Manager of Back On Track Health, made a presentation. There was also a Visual Arts group with Jane Miller and a drumming group with Bek the music therapist.

What really excited Panorama was the “What motivates me” session, because it allowed each participant to make a presentation before the whole group (this was all voluntary, by the way). It is a pity we don’t have room to include the entirety of everybody’s presentations, but for now here’s a summary (note that we’ve used made-up names for most of the participants, as indicated by a * symbol).

Tanya* frankly said there were good things about her and some things that needed improvement. She had a good education but with mental health issues, over time she had acquired a lack of self discipline. She spoke about a work experience opportunity where she found it difficult to come in on time. Even though the job was easy and she was quickly able to get it done, still she managed to come in late! She questioned herself “why would I jeopardise my job in this way, just to stay up late?” So she knows there are things about herself which she wants to change. And she knows there is no going back along her recovery road. “I am motivated by a fear of ending up back on the rock bottom again!” she told us.

Harvey* spoke about the importance of friendships and sympathy, but he also recognised there were things that he wanted to change about himself.

Michael H* spoke about how in different stages of his life, he had been motivated by different things. For example, when a young man he was motivated by “saving the world”. As time went by, the things that motivated him changed. More recently he had been motivated by Recovery, although at present, he felt like he was in a kind of “limbo” state. A crossroads of opportunity, perhaps?

Rajiv* was also fairly analytic in describing his motivations. Instead of dividing his life into separate time frames like Michael, he divided his life into different fields, such as family, friends, work, social life and recreation. He recognised the very positive contribution of his family, especially his Mum’s “never say die” attitude.

Kelly* spoke about the very nature of motivation itself; about purpose and reason in life, and about how motivations can be from outside of you or inside of you. She noted that the more highly motivated you are the higher your self-esteem is likely to be. She said that on the one hand she had schizophrenia, but that was not the important thing. The important thing was whether, on the other hand, she had motivation or a lack of motivation. She spoke about how if you look at the passengers on a bus, each one of them will have some apparently negative factors – a disability, a bad experience, a disadvantage. She just happens to be the one with schizophrenia – but she knows that she has much more to offer the world than THAT!


Christine and Kim.jpgPeer Worker Christine (left) and Project Officer Kim (right) were also at the Recovery Day

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