It’s no question that the COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changed the way we live. From our social interactions to our work and everything in between, we’ve been faced with a new reality— and with it, some unexpected challenges. Now more than ever, it’s essential to address the stigma around mental illness and practice true empathy for others (and for ourselves!). That’s exactly why Litco Law has partnered with Prosper Place to establish purposeful work, belonging and hope for those living with the effects of mental illness.
Who is Prosper Place?
Based in Edmonton, Prosper Place is a peer-led organization that works to reduce isolation for those living with mental illness. As one in four Canadians suffer from the effects of mental illness (and more are expected to join this group due to the pandemic), this organization is doing incredibly important work. Sadly, over 60% of those affected are not reaching out for support or treatment— and it’s all due to the stigma that still surrounds mental illness*. However, the clients, or ‘peer members’ who visit Prosper Place develop a sense of safety within their inclusive environment, as the organization provides hands-on training, healthy meal planning, budgeting tools, peer-to-peer support, and engaging projects for individuals to put their skills into action.
What’s the project, and why now?
Prosper Place does amazing work that’s near and dear to our hearts! All of us here at Litco Law look forward to partnering with them in launching the 4LIFElihood Skills Program. This initiative will work to address multiple issues that many Albertans currently face, such as living below the low-income threshold, the stigma surrounding mental health issues, and barriers to employment. As 2020-21 saw 36% of mental illness sufferers losing work, 44% struggling with food and nutrition, and 71% facing financial issues**, TheLIFElihood Skills Program could not come at a more critical time.
How are you putting the program into action?
Litco Law and Prosper Place will work together to provide job readiness training in the fields of food services, office administration, and customer service. This on-the-job paid training for Prosper Place social enterprises— Bottles for a Cause and Catering for a Cause— will not only support the community, but will also provide valuable opportunities for ‘peer members’ to gain skills in a supportive environment.
Catering for a Cause will focus on:
- Culinary training and employment
- Safe food handling and storage –avoiding cross contamination
- Safe equipment uses– knives, stoves
- Basic food preparation– measuring ingredients, chopping vegetables
- Baking skills– cookies, cakes, muffins
- Safe cleaning– prep for dishwasher, sterilizing surfaces
- Food service– delivery and display of catered foods
- Customer service
Bottles for a Cause will focus on:
- Environmental training and employment
- Collecting beverage containers from regular donors
- Collecting and recording cash from the bottle depot
- Customer service
- Data collection –tracking donors, cash from the bottle depot
- Bank deposit preparation
- Sales and recruiting new beverage container donors
What will the results be?
The LIFElihood Skills Program will help those affected by mental illness by providing meaningful work opportunities and fostering a feeling of hope. What’s more, valuable skills learned throughout Bottles for a Cause and Catering for a Cause will show Albertans that despite the COVID-19 pandemic and its challenges, we are resilient beyond belief!
Ultimately, we want to prove that mental illness is not something to be ashamed of, and self-care is anything but selfish. Together with Prosper Place, Litco Law will work to create an environment of belonging for anyone who feels alone. Each person who participates in the LIFElihood Skills Program will walk away knowing they are a valued peer and an important part of the community— and we can’t wait to make it happen.
Want to get involved for yourself? Click here for ways to support Prosper Place’s mission!