“I have found being on the Agored course really helpful. Socially I feel more intergrated. I want the course to be the base to building my self esteem. It feels like a benchmark for building goals for my future.” – Michael, North Wales
Education and Training can play a key part in your recovery: this is the area of life in which you can explore your interests, catch up on basic skills like literacy and numeracy, or achieve goals which will help you get the job you want.
1. What do you want to achieve?
As with every life area, you should be ambitious with your long-term outcomes and identify any unmet needs. For many people the goal may be to achieve general or career-related education and training goals, whether or not resulting in a formal qualification.
If you are already on a course of study (e.g., in school or college), your aim may be to continue with your study or to re-engage with it. You may want to explore different ways of learning: you can choose to study full-time or part-time; to get specialist support; to use long-distance learning packages (such as through the Open University); or to access adult education and training opportunities in your community.
Your main aim may be to achieve a specific qualification which will support your interests or getting a job. If you are already employed you could discuss with your employer what training will support you in your role, and whether they will fund it or provide you with the time to do it. There are also courses available which will enable you to gain life skills, social skills or skills in managing your recovery.
You don’t have to attend a structured course to start learning: if a qualification is not your goal then you can take up self-study through reading, the internet, using your local library, etc.
2. What actions need to be taken or services need to be provided to achieve your goals?
Next think about the actions that need to be taken to achieve your goals, and what services need to be provided to support you
Services could include:
● Careers advice service
● Education service from school, college or university
● Information and advice from your Local Education Authority
● Financial advice, e.g. from Student Finance Wales.
Actions could include:
● Identifying your skills and interests
● Talking to your employer about training options
● Discussing your education/training goals with a careers advisor
● Discussing with your current education provider (e.g. school or college) how you can be supported to stay in education
● Identifying and contacting education providers such as colleges of further education
● Researching what courses are available
● Finding out about distance learning packages
● Identifying and accessing community education
● Getting training in life skills such as managing your own mental health
● Enrolling on a course of study
● Getting a student loan or grant
● Accessing specialist learning support services
● Pursuing self-study activities by using your local library or the internet.
3. Who can support you to achieve your goals?
Your Local Education Authority is a key source of support and can advise you on what education/ training opportunities are available locally. Your Careers Adviser can also discuss training options with you.
Other supporters may include:
● Local college/university
● Open University
● Student Finance Wales
● Hafal National Learning Centre
● Careers Wales
● A family member and/or other carer
● Care Coordinator
More resources and links on Education & Training
● Information on Welsh schools here http://mylocalschool.wales.gov.uk/
● A good starting point for vocational training is Careers Wales http://www.careerswales.com/en/ – click on the Jobs and Training and Education and Courses tabs
● Details of all Further Education Colleges in Wales can be found here http://www.collegeswales.ac.uk/en-GB/home-1.aspx
● Details of Universities in Wales here http://www.whatuni.com/degrees/university-colleges-uk/university-colleges-wales/71/1/universities.html
● The Open University in Wales http://www.open.ac.uk/wales/
● Some people with a mental illness are vulnerable to losing money to fraudsters, loansharks or even “friends”, especially if they become unwell. You may want to make arrangements in your care plan to avoid this. In some cases families may want to seek legal advice to protect significant resources in the long-term through a trust arrangement.