Cafe at IMH serves as training ground for mentally ill patients

Patients recovering from mental illness can now opt to work at a cafe located at the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) before looking for employment in the open market.

At the Bizlink Cafe, patients will learn customer service and kitchen skills while their therapists will be on hand to help them manage their symptoms and brush up on their social skills. During their three to six months stint, they will also receive an allowance.

When therapists assess that patients are ready for external employment, IMH will assist in their job hunt. Bizlink Cafe is collaboration between IMH and Bizlink Centre Singapore, a non-profit organization that provides employment services to the disadvantaged.

Minister of State for Social and Family Development Madam Halimah Yacob, who launched the cafe on Friday morning ,said that while the collaboration between the community and industry partners to reintegrate those suffering from mental illness was going well, employment opportunities were still "very limited". She noted that with employment, their recovery process will be faster.

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