Our Mental Health Programme

The Blackthorn Trust has been helping people to improve their mental health for over 30 years. People come to Blackthorn to engage in a programme of activities specially selected for their individual needs.
We offer a 12-month placement in our wide range of social therapeutic workshops: kitchen, café, garden and plant nursery, herb workshop, stained glass, woodwork and craft.
Each individual is accompanied by a staff mentor throughout their programme. During their time with us, individuals have the opportunity to:
– build confidence
– develop life and social skills
– meet people, develop friendships and reduce isolation
– access to 1:1 therapies as available
– build resilience and manage well being
– identify aspirations for the future
– prepare for employment through routine, structure and teamwork
– learn practical work skills
– be sign posted to partner organisations to explore next steps
– access specialist advice and support on housing, benefits, debt and employment issues
The main criteria to engage with the project are:
– Any age over 16
– To be facing mental health challenges
– To be open and willing to engage with the Blackthorn programme. The structure of the placement would normally be 2 days per week, some workshops are a day long (10.30am – 3.00pm) others are half days (10.30am to 12.30 or 1.00 to 3.00pm)
– To be willing to work towards personal goals and objectives set in individual plans and to attend regular reviews with their staff mentor
Suitability of the programme
At Blackthorn we endeavour to create a therapeutic environment where people can feel safe to grow and develop. Applicants need to bring a willingness and readiness to engage.
Unfortunately, we are NOT able to offer placements to people who have: 
– Recent or current tendency to violence
– History of sexual offences
– Current alcohol/substance misuse or addiction
– Need for 1 to1 supervision/support
Please note that individuals who have left Blackthorn would only be eligible to be re referred after 3 years of being discharged from the programme.
Referrals
We ask that individuals be referred by their GP. Surgeries hold our referral forms on their database and can be easily accessed.
Alternatively, you can download it here and take to your GP and return to: nathalie@blackthorn.org.uk
Download our Referral Form here
Please note that all programmes are subject to meeting certain criteria, details of which can be found in the referral form.

TESTIMONIAL

“A number of clients of Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust Maidstone Community Mental Health team have benefitted from a Co-Workers placement at Blackthorn Trust as a pathway to return to paid employment.

The placements have proved incredibly successful and with outstanding care and support from staff, volunteers and indeed other Co-Workers, many people have made the vital transition back to paid employment having a positive impact on their mental health recovery.”

Jeanette Freeman Vocational Rehabilitation Lead, NHS & Social Care Partnership Trust

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