Odyssey’s therapeutic community in Lower Plenty provides a structured and safe space for people seeking to address their substance use. However, once residents graduate from the residential rehabilitation program, they are often faced with the daunting task of creating a new network of support from scratch – work, recreation and community.
For any of us this would be challenging enough. For our graduates, connections and relationships are such a big part of their recovery journey, and these can be the difference between continued recovery or relapse over the long term.
Now, thanks to the Jack & Ethel Goldin Foundation, Odyssey is piloting a two-year mentor program helping our graduates build sustainable community connections for employment, recreation, friendship and a sense of belonging.
The program is simple in its design, yet we believe it will be very effective in delivering the essential support our graduates require. While still involved in treatment, a resident who is ready to begin to prepare for life beyond Odyssey, will be linked with a mentor who would then stay connected with them throughout their transition back into the community.
Initially focused on employment, mentors will provide career advice, help graduates to identify skills and experience and provide access to their network.
Odyssey has recently employed a part time co-ordinator who will manage this initiative and who will engage, train and support mentors throughout their involvement in the program.