The economic crisis has an enormous effect of the mental health. The jobless person gets easily in a depressed status and a depressed status can easily result in the loss of his/her job. The job center worker trying to help jobless people is not always prepared to manage and handle mental problems. The job center worker faces mental problems day by day, but in several cases is unable to handle the case in a way with sufficient expertise. This project helps job center workers widening their knowledge on mental issues, and helps job seekers in better observing their needs and requests in this field. The focus of this project is cooperation between vocational education and training and the work of life, developing and disseminating successful training methods.
The participants of this project are: vocational schools, job center workers, psychologists, psychiatrists and coaches. The partners have a wide range of expertise, different approaches and methods in their every day work, and professionals with experience.
There is an economic crisis in most countries of Europe. The unemployment rate is high and remains on a high level in the next decade. The current depressed mood affects the unemployed people and the professionals dealing with them. There get very easily unemployed a depressed person, and an unemployed person gets depressed easily. The job center workers are not prepared to face and manage the people being in this status all over Europe. They face the symptoms of the mental status that means they meet mostly with low motivation of the job seekers.
The low motivation of job seekers is a very well known phenomenon in job centers. Low motivation creates obstacle in the co-operation of clerks and the unemployed in their effort to find a job for their clients. Low motivation decreases the possibility of success and lasts for a limited period of time, but the lack of success and failures may lead to an illness and depression. Decreased cognitive competencies can be influenced in a different way. Low motivation is one of the symptoms of depression, but the lack of motivation does not necessarily mean that the client is depressed. Depression and low motivation are two different psychological states and need different care. The treatment of depression can lead to better introspection and self-confidence and depressed person can return into action.
Job-center workers needs some continuing vocational training strengthening expertise using by working situation, widening mental knowledge and an effective communication method with the people touched by these problems. In some cases the job center workers ought to send the job seekers to the mental system, but they doesn’t know how to do this in an un-stigmatizing way. They do not know where to link them because this is a very complex problem. From this point of view we are focusing our project on 3 different aspects:
Exchange of existing methods, survey and analysis of needs
Finding new ways to support our target groups
Developing training for job-center workers
The main objective of our project is the cooperation between vocational education and training and the world of work involving a variety of partners and exchanging experiences and practices. This project offers a practical knowledge how to manage mentally disadvantaged people in the job-centers. The aim of our project is to supply job-center staff with information helping them to communicate with their clients efficiently, avoiding stigmatization and although they will not be able to heal they can refer them to an expert if necessary. As clerks working in job-centers are not mental health professionals they do not have the knowledge to diagnose or to decide whether their clients are suffering from depression even so they usually have experience in working with unemployed people and are sensitive enough to evaluate and solve the problem.
The project will be implemented through the use of non-formal vocational education methods with discussions, workshops, working in groups, plenary meetings.
We would like to know the present situation and the existing needs. What happens to the people being under motivated or depressed in the job-centers? How are prepared the job-center workers to deal this problem? It is a wrong approach to find a job for a depressed person. The depressed but untreated person get new and new failures on the job market. The job-center workers get new and new failure too, which increase the chance of burnout. Our project may prevent this bad process, provide solutions and find innovative ways.
- meet and survey 60-80 job center workers in each countries to know how do they deal the mental problems, what are they expectations to handle the mental problems in a more sufficient way
- meet and survey 60-80 job seekers in each countries to know how do they deal the problems.
- compare the situation of the countries and suppose that they are countries handling this problem in a more sufficient way
- share they existing methods.
- publish a detailed survey for job-center workers.
- training program for the job centers,
- dissemination materials for the job centers,
- effective communication for the job center workers/clerks,
- monitoring and linking the depressed persons to the health system.