The ground breaking “Peer Mentoring” project is being expanded to raise awareness of substance misuse issues in the workplace.
The project, financed through the European Social Fund (ESF), provides post treatment support for people who have accessed substance misuse services and who are currently economically inactive. Participants can access training and development opportunities and the ultimate aim is for participants to achieve economic independence through paid work.
Since its launch in October 2009, the project has grown from strength to strength, building strong links with agencies throughout Wales. Overall, the project has worked with some 4,700 participants who in turn have achieved over 600 qualifications, 2,043 positive outcomes, of which 441 have entered further learning and 514 have entered full time employment.
The Health Minister, Lesley Griffiths has announced the extension of this project to meet the aim of raising awareness of substance misuse in the work place and to support people with substance misuse problems who are in work, retain their employment.
The project expansion will promote greater understanding of substance misuse amongst employers and may help service providers secure employment opportunities for project participants.
Minister for Health and Social Services, Lesley Griffiths said:
“This is a vital project, which offers help and support to those not only experiencing substance misuse themselves, but their current and potential employers who can also be affected by substance misuse in the workplace.
“More striking than the statistics is the impact the project has had on people’s lives. Some who have taken part in the project describe it as the only way they could see themselves getting back into a full time job. They were proud of their achievements and said they felt it was a second chance at life.
“The Peer Mentoring project provides support and direction and a way back into everyday living and personal development.
“Along with initiatives such as the DAN 24/7, which is a free, bilingual telephone drugs helpline providing a single point of contact for anyone in Wales wanting further information or help relating to drugs or alcohol, I hope this project will help raise awareness of this issue and will work towards giving people fighting substance misuse problems a financially independent future.”