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Geneva
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July 2011 - June 2013
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Geneva: Helping Mentally Challenged Youth Create a New Life Plan

“The project follows the guidelines of modern psychiatry: tailor-made treatments that address not only the mental disorder but also the patient’s reintegration into society and daily life.”

Dr LOGOS CURTIS, Project Manager, JADE

The Context

JADE (Jeunes Adultes avec Troubles Psychiques Débutants ) is a treatment and care program addressing the needs of young people aged 18 to 25 with serious mental disorders and previous hospitalization. Approximately 15 young people participate at a time in the program, for a maximum period of 18 months. The program offers a global, multidisciplinary approach, offering patients weekly psychological, pharmaceutical, family and group therapy. Through a daily schedule of therapeutic group activities, patients also build up their social and interpersonal skills.

While monitoring patients at the JADE Center, the medical team found that continuous failures trigger school dropout and social isolation, thus producing grave mental distress; a vicious cycle that has proven detrimental to their overall health. Parental rejection is usually followed by social, scholastic or professional disaggregation, representing a big obstacle to their re-integration. It is crucial for the patient to rediscover his role in society and restore a positive identity.

In this context, investing in identifying training and job-market integration opportunities can be a very precious asset towards rehabilitation, as well as a preventive measure for future psychological crises. Guided by that principle, the program team included a Coach in 2008 to guide and support those who wish to pursue vocational training opportunities.

Our Project

JADE is about fostering and facilitating the integration of young people with mental disorders into society and the workforce as trained professionals. Experience has shown that young people affected by mental disorders have limited access to entering the job market, partially because they were or are unable to complete their education and training due to their condition.

Participants in the program are guided in the creation of a life plan by identifying talents or a field of interest and are encouraged to complete their education and/or get vocational training. Early integration has proven to be a key ingredient for successful development and the rehabilitation process.

Our Partners

This initiative is developed within the framework of the program JADE – Jeunes Adultes avec Troubles Psychiques Débutants – of the Department of Psychiatry of the Hôpitaux Universitaires de Genève.

Our Activities

An occupational psychologist, or professional Coach, assesses the candidate’s education level and provides assistance in identifying his or her suitable education and/or training opportunities.

The Coach, through each candidate’s interest and motivations, seeks to identify their objectives, aspirations and values. Her role is three-fold: to rally the candidate’s professional and relationship-building abilities and ensure their reconstruction, to produce a more positive and confident identity, and to establish new personal and professional objectives and work towards their realization.

The Coach’s work is organized as follows:

  • Vocational Guidance.
  • Evaluation of scholastic inclination.
  • Evaluation of professional and educational proficiencies.
  • Guidance in choosing an appropriate educational program.
  • Preparation of CV and cover letters.
  • Guidance in the search for employment.
  • Tutorial assistance with course work.

Considering that some beneficiaries of the JADE Program come from underprivileged homes, scholarships are offered to fulfill their educational and training needs.

Our Results So Far

All the project’s beneficiaries have improved their life quality significantly and have succeeded in stabilizing their mental disorders. Today the project counts 26 active beneficiaries,17 men and 9 women, who are monitored by the JADE staff according to their needs. Nearly half of them have managed to find a job or are following an educational path. Among them we have an electrical appliance installer on a short-term contract, a chemistry intern, two entertainment interns, a human resources department employee in a cleaning company, and a horticulture intern.

Among the students we boast university students in fields such as biology, economic and social sciences; two students are enrolled in an adult college; one girl is studying to become an educator, one is at the “Haute école de travail social” (HETS), and another one is studying at the “École de culture générale pour adultes” (ECGA).