Empowermental campaign – Westwaters Hotel

Empowermental campaign – Westwaters Hotel


My name is Tony Wilson,
I’m the general manager at Westwaters Hotel in Caroline Springs. At present I have two people here
with a mental illness or a disability and at the moment we have just employed
another two young people. When I first approached Tony
letting him know that we have people with a mental illness that wanted to work in his establishment,
he was a little bit sceptical because he was a bit unsure of what
someone with a mental illness was, until I few brought a few people
in front of him. And of the two candidates I had first off,
I employed them straightaway. There’s a perception with people where they think someone
with a mental illness is an outcast or they’re unemployable or… I mean, the statistics out there show that
one in five people actually suffer from a mental illness
of some form. I think we all have a situation where we think the worst of somebody
who has mental health problems. We foresee something that may be there
that isn’t there. So you really need to assess
the person yourself and see the person for what they are. I think that a lot of the times, employers start using people with
a mental illness as a benchmark and I’ve been here
where I’ve heard Tony say, “Hey, if Joe Blow can come early,
why can’t you?” I think you have to be as an employer,
upfront and not set a standard that high
that it’s not attainable for the person. At the end of the day
they are there to do a job and they do do their job
to the best of their ability and sometimes outshine their ability. Employment to a person
with a mental illness, I think, is probably one of the best ways
that they can recover. It empowers them, it obviously gives them
opportunity to grow, it helps them interact with people
and it doesn’t make them feel isolated, it actually makes them feel important. Makes them feel that they belong,
that they have a sense of belonging.

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