PHAROS is a project, based in Gozo, to provide help and hope – in an educational setting – to people suffering from mental health or emotional challenges, also reaching out to their friends, families, carers, and professionals involved in their care.
What is “Help and hope – in an educational setting?”
The aim is to set up a Recovery College. This would help people affected by mental health issues, emotional difficulties, and trauma, to learn from their experiences. This will assist in regaining a sense of self, empower people to find ways of living with and beyond the limitations that they might feel, and to engage more fully with life.
Discussions have been afoot since 2013 to make this a reality. Before launching the College in Gozo with appropriate NGOs and statutory bodies, a pilot project ran for a few weeks in Gharb from 15 December 2014 to 2 January 2015. Ian Springham delivered courses in English on “An Introduction to Mindfulness Meditation” and “The Five Ways to Wellbeing” in these trial sessions, to a warm and welcome response. Having demonstrated the viability of such courses, we continued with our regulatory registration with The Commissioner for Voluntary Organisations and Gozo NGOs Association. Although not then a statutory obligation, such registration is important in establishing our bona fides, showing good governance and applying for external help and funding.