This is a great read. Like Joey Espinoza, I really like the “interconnectedness over independence” mantra.
I’m one of the people who’s more used to receiving these services than planning, funding or measuring them and it’s heartening to know that there’s people like you in your position thinking outside of the box.
There’s a middle ground between mollycoddling people and leaving them to fend for themselves. It seems many people feel if the latter doesn’t work, then the only other option is the former and view that as a waste of money. Taking a long-term approach as you advocate, and realising the process of getting an individual back on their feet will rarely be a smooth one should be standard practice.
I myself have been largely unemployed over the past 3 1/2 years. I’m physically capable of doing a job, and have the required basic skills e.g. maths, English and IT skills but I also suffer from mental health issues. So while I may successfully interview for a job, my mental health may be affected by a number of factors while in the workplace (a lack of belonging with colleagues; working more hours than I’m ready to at that moment in time; feeling unable to articulate my concerns with senior staff etc) so much so that I quit. If keeping a job is the only metric of success, then it follows that the next step that the program I’m involved with will take with me is simply sending me to the door of another employer, without addressing the reasons I left the previous job.
If instead that program perhaps set up a meeting involving me, them and the employer where we could openly discuss concerns and solutions, such as allowing me to reduce or increase hours as my mental health dictates; allowing me to attend appointments with mental health staff (who I’d like involved with the program as a whole too) during usual work hours if an appointment is only available then and generally gives the impression that they both understand and care about my needs; it would be very positive.
At the moment, my experiences with the job centre make me feel like a burden and as my social circle only consists of my immediate family (no friends) who don’t know about my mental health issues, it even increases my symptoms as I have no-one to reassure me that I am not a burden. Instead of seeking the job centre’s excuse for help, I simply hide myself away.
However as I said at the start of this comment, it’s encouraging to know that there are people who see the bigger picture out there. Now I’m off to discover what my implied biases are!