Mental health practice: Bonnyrigg
Mental health practice: Bonnyrigg

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Mental health practice: Bonnyrigg

1.4 A community resource centre in action

It is clear that the well-being of communities and the well-being of the individuals within them are intrinsically linked. The Orchard Centre is a community resource centre for people with mental health problems in Bonnyrigg in Midlothian, Scotland.

Figure 1
Figure 1 Services provided by the Orchard Centre

Bonnyrigg is the second largest town in Midlothian and it has a population of approximately 14,500.

Figure 2
Figure 2 Bonnyrigg

You can a see a list of the aims of the Orchard Centre in the box below.

The Orchard Centre aims to:

  • Provide support for those with enduring mental health problems.

  • Provide a secure, stimulating environment in which people can feel safe.

  • Provide a preventative, holistic service which helps people to meet their emotional, social, physical and spiritual needs.

  • Provide a range of creative and supportive services on an individual, group and community basis to assist people to meet their needs.

  • Provide a flexible and easily accessed service which is responsive and readily available.

  • Offer the opportunity to rebuild skills adversely affected by mental health problems.

  • Support people to live as normal a life as possible.

  • Promote positive mental health both within the centre and the wider community through education, participation, social interaction, inclusion and empowerment.

  • Offer respite and support to families and carers.

  • Contribute to the prevention of hospital admission.

Figure 3
(The Orchard Centre) ©
The Orchard Centre
Figure 3 The Orchard Centre

As you can see from this information, the Orchard Centre explicitly aims to operate beyond the boundaries of the building itself in order to promote positive mental health in the surrounding communities.

Activity 4: Introducing the work of the Orchard Centre

1 hour 0 minutes

Listen to the audio clip below, where Joan, project manager of the Orchard Centre and a qualified social worker, talks about the work of the centre and the values that underpin it. While you listen to the audio, make notes on the following questions. Use the pause button to stop the recording when you need to in order that you will have the necessary time to do this. You might find it helpful to listen to the recording through once before playing it again and making notes:

  1. How do people get referred to the Orchard Centre?

  2. What is one of the main anxieties for those who use the Orchard Centre?

  3. You explored two ‘models’ of explanation for mental health in Section 1.3. Which of these models does the philosophy of the Orchard Centre most closely reflect, and why?

  4. How does Joan explain the stigma that is sometimes associated with the Orchard Centre and its work?

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Transcript: Track One - Joan

JOAN JOHNSON
I’m Joan Johnson, project manager of the Orchard Centre in Midlothian. About a year ago we transferred from being managed by Midlothian Council to the former Edinburgh Association for Mental Health, now called ‘Health in Mind’. The core funding we have largely comes from the Scottish Executive, called ‘Mental Illness Specific Grant’ and we also have a substantial amount of new funding, which is resource transfer money which comes from hospital closures, and that’s allowed us to extend our service into evenings and weekend. The third main part of our funding is from the big lottery, or formerly known as the Community Fund, which funds a development project that does outreach work in Midlothian. Referrals to all parts of our project are really accepted from anybody. People can self refer. We get referrals from GP’s, psychiatric nurses, health visitors. Really you know we are very very open in terms of where the referrals come from but the important part is that people can refer themselves to any part of the service. We try and make it as accessible as possible. We have no time bar on people using the service. What we are very clear on is that it's important to get the balance right between helping people to become motivated which for many, many people with mental health difficulties is a huge issue. And not pushing people at a pace that is not the pace that works for them.
Within the Orchard Centre itself we try to encourage everybody to participate in at least one thing and with the exception of a handful of people that’s possible to do. And many times over the years that I have worked in the service I have had people say that they are very anxious about the fact that if they become well, which for different people means different things, then they’ll no longer be able to use the service. And that’s a huge source of anxiety and very much the line that we take is that people will move on when they are ready to move on, and that that’s a decision that we can support them to arrive at but it's to be their decision.
I think we all in our lives rely on our networks of support and many of the people using our services have limited, if any, networks of support, and so therefore it would be unhelpful to discriminate against them by saying “out the door”. So it's not something we do and we do take great care to ensure that people don’t become inappropriately dependent on us. It's an interdependency that we are trying to come to because we believe that we are all interdependent as people.
I think many of the things that service users would ask for as being of critical importance to them, for example listening to people, trying to understand where they are at, rather than imposing our views and perceptions on them. And all the kind of em…things that we would all look for if we were to go to any service when we’re feeling vulnerable and asking for support. And I think the ethos is based on those core skills. And on really accepting that mental health is not something about those people that we work with. Mental health is an issue that we all have to keep at the forefront. It's thankfully a limited number of people who become very unwell and have to go into hospital, but positive mental health, and being mentally well, is something that we all need to address, and so it's really not seeing the people that we work with as fundamentally different from ourselves. They may have had different life experiences. They may have different current life experiences but essentially we are all, you know we are all in the business of living together. I certainly wouldn’t want to say there is no place for medical treatment. That, you know, that would be unhelpful I think for everybody with mental health difficulties. There may be a point, certainly for some people; there may be a point at which point medical interventions are beneficial. That’s not our area of expertise and therefore, you know, we would refer people on. But we also believe that there are a lot more things required in a community basis, and in a social context to support people.
Our experience tells us that very often people have had very difficult life experiences and that possibly the coping strategies that they have developed to cope in these situations have become a bit protracted and they are no longer serving them well. Some people feel that that, you know it depends upon your view of mental illness, that medical interventions help. We believe that many, many other ways of working with people can be equally as beneficial, and it's giving people choice. At the end of the day it's for some people one thing is what they would wish, and for somebody else it might be something completely different.
There’s an interesting debate in trying to raise awareness of the services that we offer. How to raise awareness without drawing unnecessary and unwelcome attention on to the services, erm because undoubtedly within Midlothian, as with any community, there is a lot of anxiety, there is a lot of concern from many people about mental health. A lot of people do not want to take ownership of this. It's something that’s of concern to us all and we are clear that you know people are stigmatised, and there is still word comes back to us that, within the community that our centre is based, that there is various descriptions as to what this place is. And yet the people that are immediately adjacent to us are fine. You know we are just there. We are just going about our business. We are not bothering anybody, erm so sometimes I think a lot of the stigma is based on fear and lack of knowledge, lack of understanding, and it's trying to find a way of educating people that I think is of crucial importance.
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So far, you have only read and heard about the aims of the Orchard Centre ‘in theory’ or from staff who work there. But what about the people who actually use the service? What do they think? In the next activity you will hear about how service users from the centre experience the work that goes on there, and what their views are on a range of issues.

Activity 5: The Orchard Centre: service user perspectives

1 hour 0 minutes

Listen to the audio clips below, in which Loui, David, Linda and Willie discuss their experiences as users of the Orchard Centre. As in the last activity, try listening to the audio twice, the second time using the pause button to give you extra time to make notes as you listen.

There are five main topics discussed in the audio. To begin with, the four participants discuss their first impressions of the centre and the kinds of volunteer work they have become involved in. They then discuss how they feel the wider community in Bonnyrigg perceives the centre. Loui, David, Linda and Willie then discuss what is meant by a ‘crisis’ in mental health and what they think of crisis services. Following this, they talk about their experiences of the health professionals they have come into contact with, and how the Orchard Centre compares with being in hospital. Finally, there is a brief discussion about advocacy and the importance of having someone to speak up for you.

Click play to listen to audio clip (Part 1, 13 minutes).

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Transcript: Track Two - Orchard Centre - Part One

ACADEMIC (MALE)
Willie, can you tell me about the Orchard Centre and how you got referred to it?
WILLIE
I have been at the Orchard Centre for about twelve years now. Been going regularly and in the twelve years most of that time I have been a volunteer at the centre. I work in the café. I was originally referred through Rosalind Lee Hospital where I was detoxing. Well I am originally a chef to the trade. I am basically left to my own devices about what food I prepare for the clients so I can get on with it. To me it's my work [INDISTINCT]. I feel comfortable with work as opposed to a four hour a week thing, which I would find just far too much.
ACADEMIC
Louie, can you tell me about when you first heard about the Orchard Centre and how you got there?
LOUIE
I heard about it from a friend. I went to the Common Centre and they spoke about it, but they didn’t advise me to go or anything, so it was through a friend.
ACADEMIC
What was it like the first day you went into the Orchard Centre?
LOUIE
I think I was so stressed I can't remember. I think I just sat or I think I went to have therapy to start with. So it was just coming in and sitting, and going up, instead of sort of going into anything else
ACADEMIC
So how long have you been going?
LOUIE
About five years I think.
ACADEMIC
So what is it that keeps you going?
LOUIE
I think if I hadn’t had the Orchard Centre I would not be here because you are able to talk to people and they are able to sort of ground you and keep you from doing anything that you shouldn’t. Erm, just…you get the chance to volunteer and you get your own wee bit, and it's like a safety bit so that when you come in you have your own bit, and you just go in and you do whatever you have to do. I volunteer in the office. I answer the phones, typing, filing if I have to, and photocopying if I have to. [LAUGHS] They are the only two things I hate doing. But erm yeah…I do the newsletter as well. It's just a sort of wee newsletter for the centre, about the centre, and what goes on. On the front page you normally have everything that’s going on in it like a diary-type thing and just anything that I think might be interesting. Sometimes you get stuff put in you know by staff. I try and get somebody, a staff member, to put something in. I actually [INDISTINCT] so I have got this sort of thing about pets going on and asking the staff if they would say a bit about their animals and having a photograph in as well. So it's been nice to read up and type up what they’ve given. And we’ve got the welfare fund as well, so it helps the Orchard Centre to help themselves. We… we have fund-raisers to get money for the centre, and then we spend it and we are trying…well we are trying to work out what to spend this lot on, that we are going to get, hopefully. But we have done different rooms up in the building since I have been involved in it. We have changed the Art room from the quiet room to the Art room, and the quiet room…and the Art room to the quiet room. So it was quite a big thing.
ACADEMIC
Linda, can you tell me about how you heard about the Orchard Centre?
LINDA
Through the doctor and Sylvia – oh I can't pronounce her name. It's like an Italian name. She advised me to come. As Willie said I’m a volunteer in the café too. And the people are friendly. If I hadn't heard about the Orchard Centre I would never have trusted people again. Erm I have got one person in particular, Fenella, who is my art therapist, one to one, and she was very good with me. I could do anything what I wanted and with the staff I am getting quite a lot of support. And I am very proud that I go to the Orchard Centre.
ACADEMIC
Last time we had this kind of conversation I remember asking you about qualifications that you’d actually achieved at the early Orchard Centre. Would you mind telling me again about the ones that you have done?
LINDA
My first one was Volunteering First – no, Food and Hygiene. Second one was Volunteering First. One from the Orchard Centre. And my Emergency First Aid.
ACADEMIC
And you studied all of those whilst you were at the Orchard Centre?
LINDA
Yes. And I am proud of it because it was help from the Orchard Centre as well.
ACADEMIC
David – could you tell me about how you heard about the Orchard Centre?
DAVID
Well, like Willie I was detoxing. My own GP had recommended me to go to hospital, which was the Royal Edinburgh hospital, and I went there for a period of time. The chap who was looking after me there, I don’t know how he heard about it, probably just through his usual connections in his job, had heard of the Orchard Centre in Bonnyrig. Since I came from Midlothian he took me down in his car to the centre. I remember that day. It was a Tuesday afternoon of all days. First person I met when I was going through the door I think was Joan but Joan had just started I think at that…hadn't been going…hadn’t been in operation for…just started. And I must admit I wasn’t terribly impressed with the centre. I thought ‘no, no I don’t think this is going to be my cup of tea’. And then one day I got a letter from Joan I believe and inviting me to come back and see what's happening. So I thought ‘oh well fair enough, nothing to lose’. So I went back, but this time my period of detoxation, if that’s the right way to pronounce it, in the Royal Edinburgh, had come to an end for a period anyway, so I started to come on and off to the Orchard Centre, and then gradually I began to go there more or less on a full time basis. I got to know people and you know things just sort of swung along. As I say it just took a little bit of time and a little perseverance on my part, and…so that I more or less go after…got to know…after seeing people and that, I’ve just been going there everyday you know.
ACADEMIC
Louie, how does the…you talked about the Common Centre earlier on. How does the Orchard Centre compare with that – if at all?
LOUIE
It's totally different from the Common Centre because Common Centre you go maybe once a week, something like that and talk to a sort of one to one, but there is no socialising at all, whereas the centre – it's all socialising. Learning to be with other people. And learning to…like for me, that you are not the only person, that there are people around. Anyway it's quite nice to know that you are not the only one that has problems, that there are other people that might be worse or on the same par. But it is nice to know that you can come out and there are other people and that they can help you to get to where they are, or you can help them to get to where you are.
ACADEMIC
Linda, have you been to other places like the Orchard Centre?
LINDA
No. The Orchard Centre was the first place I had been to. Um, it's good. You are meeting a lot of nice people, friendly. Um, staff are marvellous.
ACADEMIC
Midlothian is an awfully small place and the Orchard Centre I can imagine that at sometimes people will be going; “Oh what do they go there for? What, what's that about?” So that…I suppose I am asking a question about how you feel the community – if I can use that word – sort of like has perceived yourselves as people who use the Orchard Centre and whether that’s…or whether you feel that you have been supported or understood or not?
DAVID
I have been quite mystified and in a certain sense disappointed. “Where are you going this morning David?” “Ah so I am going down to the Centre.” Well my neighbours know that. I say: “It's just round the corner. The Orchard Centre – the old Council building”. “What do you do there?” “Well”, I say, “people go there because they have particular problems. It's now been taken over by what…very, very good name – ‘Health in Mind’. And I think in this day and age their health…our health in mind is actually…is really very important. I mean, we just need to look at daily newspapers and see why. We should try and take a wee bit more responsible attitude to how we think and how we conduct ourselves each day and each week and each month for that matter. So I am really quite mystified as to why the Orchard Centre doesn’t seem to, or has not made an impact. Oh it has made an impact obviously but I would have expected a wee bit more local people especially, more knowledgeable.
WILLIE
I would say unfortunately there is still a huge amount of the population don’t want to know. You mention mental health – don’t want to know. It's somewhere I don’t want to go. It's never going to happen to me so why should I worry about it? Also mental health is very often linked with criminal behaviour so ‘Joe Public’ might think they dinna deserve any help anyway; they are nothing but thugs; they should be locked up. It will be a continuing task to try and get the message across that it doesn’t have to be like that. Not everybody with a mental health problem is a thug or a criminal and sometimes you just need a bit of support to get you through a rough patch. People who know me, accept me going to the doctors, and they say they know what it is but I will say “well I’m going to work so that’s my way round it”. And they are OK. Oh that’s fine. I think it will be an ongoing problem – a stigma thing.
ACADEMIC
Louie, Linda, how do you feel about what David and Willie have said? Does that ring bells for you? Does that sound right?
LOUIE
Yeah, but um on a sort of positive thing I still go to the clinic to get my [INDISTINCT] done and one of the receptionists actually asked me for stuff from the Orchard Centre for…to help her husband or partner. So the fact that she knew that I came was quite scary but you know it was quite nice to be asked.
ACADEMIC
Linda?
LINDA
My neighbours think, when you say you are going to the Orchard Centre, they think “oh there is something personally wrong.” So I just say “well I am a volunteer in the café and I go out to work”. And I help people with disabilities, do my best for everybody and just look after the people in the – that come and use the café. And be pleasant, have a nice smile on your face. And it really is something that people should know about.
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ACADEMIC
I want to ask a question now about something called ‘Crisis Services’ - it’s the people who devise services for folk who have problems. I think it's quite important to provide kind of out of hour’s services. Can you tell me about your experience if any, of using an out of hours service or what you think about that as an idea – an out of hours service or a crises service – having someone to phone when things are not great?
WILLIE
I have never used the Orchard Centre out of hour’s crisis line – phone line – hopefully I will never need to, but I am aware it’s there. For somebody who says they wouldn’t use the extended hours, because I am there often enough. Lets turn that completely around. I am there every night that they are open late – Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. I am also there Saturdays and Sunday. This is completely different from what I had planned to do in the first place, basically because they need volunteers for the café like and I am always available. So I see a lot more of the Orchard Centre, than I see of my own house. I am probably not as clued up as to what the crisis line is actually all about. The definition of crisis varies from one person to another. Some people’s idea of a crisis I would say you couldn’t…I would not call that a crisis. I think the difficulty for some people might be that sometimes they feel terrible and they might wonder should I be phoning the Orchard Centre crises line. That is a social crisis thing. It's not a medical thing. I don’t…I don’t have any idea how often it's being used, how regularly it gets used, how many times a week, what sorts of phone calls are coming in? I have no idea what's happening there. I would imagine that what people are phoning up probably because they were actually sitting at home bored.
DAVID
I remember one time when I was…I hadn't actually been going to the Orchard Centre at the time but I was still in contact with the Royal Edinburgh and a crisis developed one night at one o’clock in the morning. I wanted a plumber. So I phoned up the Royal Edinburgh. There is a nurse up there on duty…
WILLIE
…Oh dear!
DAVID
…and…No. I was very well treated I tell you, she…
WILLIE
…Really?
DAVID
…Yes. I explained to her, and she was very, very nice, but it was just some place just on the spur of the moment. I couldn’t even think. I wanted…I needed somebody for some advice. And give the lassie her due she was very, very helpful. But I got on well with all the staff. No – joking aside about the question of crisis. I, like Willie here, have not had any cause to phone up the Orchard Centre. I would agree with what he said though and the question of what do you call a crisis? I don’t know. I have never really have had to face anything where I have felt that I wanted to talk to somebody, but the fact that it's there is… that’s enough to make me think “well that’s good. I know that if I need any help.” But I would probably find it…or maybe if it was coming to a crisis it wouldn’t be after nine o’clock at night. It would probably be in the early hours of the morning because I…and that would be something because the Orchard Centre crisis has only got – actually if I am right, but I could be wrong here – to mid-evening. So if I needed any help then it would need to be before then. But then I am going down practically every day to the Centre and in a certain sense that’s a good thing. But in another sense it's a bad thing because you become too reliant on it and I feel that you know that if – I mean I had the experience of becoming too reliant on a certain situation before.
Nothing to do with the Orchard Centre. I felt very badly let down. So that I always have that little bit in my mind. I had to alter my entire lifestyle and believe me it wasn't very…it was something I had to get over myself. So that when I started going regularly to the Orchard Centre that filled that gap in, but if I hadn’t had that Centre to…the Centre to go to, I could have been in queer street as it were. But, no – a crisis well obviously you don’t phone up for a plumber or anything like that.
LINDA
I have never had a crisis with the Orchard Centre. But I have had problems late at night. People coming to my door - straightaway ring the police; the police come to get rid of them. Because it's so unfair when you think about it. You are on your own, two dogs start to bark. It's neighbours I am thinking about. I do not want people coming to my door at that time in the morning.
LOUIE
We’ve just started doing an evaluation – no is that…about the crisis Cent…about the Crisis Line, um what it's about and who uses it. So trying to get some figures together about it. I think it's good. It's a shame it doesn’t go on all night when a lot of the problems happen but it's a start to it.
ACADEMIC
Can I ask some questions now about your general experiences of people who call themselves professionals?
WILLIE
Can we target GP’s?
ACADEMIC
You can target anybody you like
WILLIE
Colebridge where I come from has a group practice. There are eight GP’s there. Anyone I can see if I want, although I have a designated GP of my own. From a recovering alcoholic’s point of view the range of response you can get is completely across the spectrum from very negative to very positive. That probably applies to all walks of life. It's not just GP’s like. It all depends on a great deal of trial and error, until you find somebody you feel is understanding what you are trying to tell them. And you certainly don’t like them saying, “There’s a prescription. Away you go and phone AA. It's all your own fault.” But it happens unfortunately.
ACADEMIC
What's the good extreme? What's the good end of the spectrum? And have you had that?
WILLIE
Yes. I have got one where I felt needed – I felt I had to go into hospital for a detox. I went into hospital for a detox. The swing now is for home detox that some are in favour of – you can get the same medication and support at home more or less as you can get in hospital without tying up a bed that could otherwise be better employed. So I am generally in favour of community detox, although there are occasions - I have got other health risks. I have a condition. If I really need to go into hospital, as long as that facility is still going to be there I think that’s important to me. I don’t think anybody would choose to be in hospital. Ah well, I didn’t have a problem with it because I knew that’s where I needed to be at the time. I find sometimes the Centre can be very much like being in hospital because there are so many people in the Centre, who have just recently or still in the process of recovering from a severe bout of mental illness. So I am very aware of that and I have to say to myself this is just like being in hospital. That’s something I don’t think is going to change. Only I can cope with, or deal with that. If it's getting too heavy I will then go somewhere else.
DAVID
Funnily enough I was just talking about this with somebody yesterday about the question of taking up hospital beds. I would prefer now, after having been away from the Royal Edinburgh for a number of years, to… if anything happened, to do it at home. At one time I would totally disagree with that. But since I came to the Centre – and I have to keep on coming back to this – since I came to the Orchard Centre, I mean I don’t think I would be here today quite frankly if it hadn’t been that they were able to fill up the space I was spending rather than sitting in a club. I mean all my friends knew that I had a problem. But I didn’t get quite the same specialist point of view as I have…you know, as I did in the Orchard Centre. So that, I think rather than take up a bed, although I have to say the treatment and that, and expertise I got was very, very good in the Royal Edinburgh, the alcoholic problem clinic. I have never actually gone back to see them, although I think they did point out it would be nice to hear from some people to see how things are going. I go now to a counsellor in Dalkeith – a consultant – I see him every four weeks. And between the five…the two or three minutes I see him, Brendan, very, very helpful to me, and going to the Centre, I mean that does me. But I would agree, I think that if you can get out of it on your own, because basically that is what you are talking about here. You know nobody can help you but yourself. But without the help of the Centre, as I keep on saying, I wouldn’t have had that. And in fact I can even go further than that. The group that I used to meet with in the Royal Edinburgh, tragically there are one or two who are no longer here today. So that has been, from that point of view I certainly owe my life to them I suppose in a way to the…to the Centre you know.
LOUIE
The doctor that I was at before had no idea of eating disorders and on this occasion she turned around and said “you know, you should pick cherry tomatoes and binge on them”. And that’s not something you want to hear when you are struggling. But the doctor that I am with now understands. I had to change over doctors because I had an operation and it went wrong and the clinic that I was at wouldn’t come out and see me so I had to move doctors. But the doctor I have got now is fantastic. She…she’s totally different. She listens to…I mean I get into such a state going in just for a normal appointment, but she just…she is nice and she is friendly and she listens, and you can tell just by her actions that she is listening. And I can't say that I trust her yet because I haven't seen her that much, but you know I think I trust her more than I trusted the other one in all the years that I knew her. So I think trust is a big thing.
ACADEMIC
And a lot of the new laws, in terms of people with disabilities or problems, makes reference to the fact that they will occasionally need an advocate, an advocacy, somebody to speak for them. Have you had, any of you, the experience of somebody speaking for you when you couldn’t speak for yourself? And if you haven't, what do you think about that as a notion?
LINDA
Well I go to a lot of CAPS meetings
ACADEMIC
Can you say what CAPS is?
LINDA
Consultancy, advocacy, promotion service.
DAVID
I think attending - CAPS is certainly superb for that - putting you in the picture with regard to keeping you up to date with regard to you know things such as drugs, etc, etc. So from that point of view I think the advocacy is a…is a good thing. I really can't say that I have got any more experience than that actually John…
ACADEMIC
…that’s fine. That’s great. Louie, anything you want to say on that?
LOUIE
I think…I don’t have much to do with the CAPS thing, but I have somebody who comes with me to doctors and stuff like that, and we talk about it beforehand and if I forget something, because I tend to just – use David’s favourite word – and gabble, I open my mouth and – but they are there to help me to talk, sort of calm down and talk properly. And John has helped in the Centre, as has some of the other staff as well. They either come with me or talk with somebody – so I suppose it's an advocacy in a different way.
ACADEMIC
Willie?
WILLIE
I haven't had the need to use an advocate myself. Actually I am quite bewildered that it's taken so long for advocacy to take the profile that it has taken on now. I don’t see it as being a good idea. It's crucial. How can you expect somebody with a serious mental health or maybe you have been pickling in cider at the time – to put across clearly what you need? You need somebody to speak for you when you are like that. It's essential.
ACADEMIC
If you could just give one piece of advice to somebody that was training to be a social worker or somebody who was training to work with people with personal problems, what would that be? Willie?
WILLIE
Learn to be a good listener.
ACADEMIC
Louie?
LOUIE
Ditto.
ACADEMIC
Linda?
LINDA
Yes.
DAVID
Yes. I think that really sums up the whole situation. Learn to be a good listener and at least be sympathetic. I think sympathy and understanding and realising it's not going to be a cakewalk. You are dealing with other people’s problems. You are dealing with human beings and when you get yourself into a pickle just try and put yourself in their shoes. As Willie says, be a good listener is as good an answer as any.
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Once you have listened to the audio and made some notes, complete the following activity.

Look again at the aims of the Orchard Centre listed at the beginning of this section. Based on what you have heard from Loui, David, Linda and Willie, to what extent do you think the centre is meeting these aims? The best way of approaching this activity would be to take each of the aims of the centre in turn and provide an example from the audio to show how it is being met.

Discussion

You may have found the evidence on the audio was clearer for some of the aims than others. In any event, it should have become clear even from this brief insight into the experiences of those attending the Orchard Centre that it is meeting its aims to a very great extent.

In some ways, the work of the Orchard Centre can be seen as a form of community work. This is because one of its aims is to ‘promote positive mental health both within the centre and the wider community through education, participation, social interaction, inclusion and empowerment’. We turn now to one of the key concepts within this aim, and that is the concept of ‘empowerment’. You will be exploring this concept alongside advocacy, which is a key social work skill.

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