Josh’s Hope – helping people with mental health issues

Special Interest

18 October 2019

Programmes that teach job skills, provide structure and foster a supportive environment positively enhance the lives of individuals with mental health issues. Following the murder of his oldest son Josh, who suffered from mental health issues, Steve Bailey began looking for programmes of this nature for his other two sons. However, when Steve and his wife were unable to identify the type of programmes that they felt Josh would have benefitted from in North Carolina, they took it upon themselves to create them.

“My wife and I began Josh’s Hope in 2010 with the goal of bridging the gap in services for young adults with mental illness by providing them supervised, structured days which teach them skills they need to be more successful at independent living,” Steve said. Today, Josh’s Hope is a five-programme organisation based in North Carolina. It is geared towards working with young adults with mental health and/or substance abuse issues.

The organisation’s “Tools for Hope” programme provides a vocational training course in carpentry. It is designed for young adults who have struggled with independent living, including those with and without mental health or substance abuse issues. The curriculum covers the skills necessary for the young people to secure employment in construction or fine carpentry. If graduates don’t get a job following programme completion, Josh’s Hope staff refers them to community partners for part-time employment.

“While you can’t reverse the effects of schizophrenia, you can improve the life of an individual who has schizophrenia through holistic vocational training that gives the individual skills to be proud of and helps him or her fit into a community.”

– Steve Bailey, executive director of Josh’s Hope

Another programme run by the organisation called “Foundation for Hope” provides young adults with mental health issues in local detention centres with the skills necessary to transition out. Additionally, “Family Hope” works with families to provide support, case management help and educational workshops, “Recipe for Hope” is a culinary programme and “Climbing Hope” provides summer enrichment.

“If I knew what I know now, I think we would have been better prepared to provide the services that my son need earlier on and his outcome would have been different,” Steve said, “So it’s my goal to make sure that everybody knows what we know now.”

This grant falls under the Special Interest Programme. Special Interest grants cover a wide range of fields, including health, humanitarian relief, education and the arts. You can find out more about Josh’s Hope here.

Photos: © Josh’s Hope

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