Marion House inpatients available for Ponoka jobs

  • May. 25, 2011 10:00 a.m.

GEORGE BROWN/Ponoka News

Businesspeople in Ponoka have been offered a new tool to help them meet their post-recession employment needs.

Adult inpatients in Marion House, a rehabilitative program at the Centennial Centre for Mental Health and Brain Injury, are available to work as they ease their way back into the workforce and the community.

“Our vocational program is an individualized program designed to assist clients in improving their mental health, re-engaging them in the community and supporting them in their employment skills,” occupational therapist Holly Vanjoff told chamber of commerce members last week.

Staff helps patients in the psychosocial rehabilitation program to improve their social and work skills, added therapy assistant Stephanie Stafford.

“We have adapted a client-centred approach, which is a non-medical approach,” Vanjoff said. Based on identified strengths, the client’s own goals to get back into the community drive the design of their program, which “focuses on hope, potential and future orientation.”

Staff in the Marion House program work with community employment agencies such as the federal Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities to match clients with employers.

Opportunities Fund co-ordinator Dagmar Hargreaves assists anyone with a permanent disability by providing funding to individuals, employers and organizations.

Getting back to work is an integral part of rehabilitation and she said the Opportunities Fund helps people with disabilities prepare for, obtain and maintain employment or self-employment.

“We can fund a paid work experience, which means the individual isn’t volunteering, that there is some worth attached to the skills they are learning, to the labour they are doing,” Hargreaves explained.

For inpatients with brain injury and mood disorders, going back to work helps instill pride and a sense of worth, Vanjoff said. Many inpatients cannot go back to their chosen field of employment and must be retrained. Marion House provides job coaching and training for interested businesspeople. The clients work through a probationary period.

Stafford said going back to work can be “a little scary” for inpatient workers.

“Everybody knows what it’s like going to a new job on the first day. Imagine going on your first day and struggling with an illness and you haven’t worked in so long.”

Vanjoff added staff tries to match the worker’s skills with the employer’s needs but “if the placement is not a good fit, it can be terminated immediately.”

Hargreaves said the vocation work program gives inpatients current work experience to put on their resumé. “This affords some the individual with some hands-on, real work.”

Workers are not expected to fill time on the job.

“We’re looking at a person gaining some real work skills,” Hargreaves said.

If the worker can fill a permanent position there is transitional funding available for the employer.

“What you (employers) can provide to them is more than they can imagine,” Stafford said. “They thought they could never work again.”

For more information of the psychosocial work rehabilitation program, call Holly Vanjoff at 403-783-7600, extension 1215.

Just Posted

Chicks for Charity’s “Champagne High Tea” an elegant success

Chicks for Charity’s ninth annual fundraising event on June 22, “Champagne High… Continue reading

Maskwacis youth found dead on reserve

The remains of 16 year old Houston Omeasoo found June 25

Ponoka County receives update from energy lobby group

CAPP hopes to work with municipalities on property tax issues

VIDEO: Tributes flow on 10th anniversary of Michael Jackson’s death

Jackson received a fatal dose of the anesthetic propofol on June 25, 2009. He died at age 50

Accused mother cries at Alberta trial over boy who died of meningitis

Parents charged with failing to provide necessaries of life for their son who died in 2012

Air Canada reviewing how crew left sleeping passenger on parked plane

In a Facebook post, the woman said she woke up ‘all alone’ on a ‘cold dark’ aircraft

Canadians crash out of Women’s World Cup in 0-1 loss to Sweden

Canada missed a chance to tie the game on a penalty shot

Late night fight in Wetaskiwin results in aggravated assault, assault with a weapon charges

Wetaskiwin RCMP investigate armed robbery and aggravated assault

Maskwacis featured in documentary series that unearths Indigenous cuisine

Red Chef Revival’s host visits community, elders and Nipisihkopahk School

UPDATED: Manderville located, Edwards still missing

Last seen in Ponoka June 22, 2019

PHOTOS: Event marks one year since soccer team rescued from Thai cave

Nine players and coach took part in marathon and bike event to help improve conditions at cave

Most Read