The WHOLE Bean Project
Bellarine Coffee Roasters will deliver a series of projects that address important global, national, and local social issues. The WHOLE Bean Project is the first of these initiatives and is focussed on mental health and stigma.
What does The WHOLE Bean Project do?
The WHOLE Bean Project has three core aims:
1. Provide safe and supportive employment for people living with severe and complex mental health issues.
2. Reduce stigma through online and ‘on-the-ground’ initiatives wrapped around Bellarine Coffee Roasters.
3. Support stigma reduction research and mental health initiatives.
What is the problem that The WHOLE Bean Project will address?
It is estimated that approximately 700,000 Australians live with severe and complex mental health issues like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or trauma-related disorders. They are often among our country’s most vulnerable and marginalised people.
Recent research highlights that Australians who experience complex mental health issues miss out on a range of life opportunities that are important to support wellbeing. These opportunities include participation in employment, social relationships, community, and more. Indeed, people living with mental health issues like schizophrenia are far more likely to experience unemployment than other members of the community.
The stigma associated with severe and complex mental health problems is key in limiting employment opportunities for people with lived experience. In addition, the symptoms of these mental health problems can make obtaining and sustaining employment difficult in standard settings.
Bellarine Coffee Roasters are implementing The WHOLE Bean Project to help address this problem.
Why is this initiative called ‘The WHOLE Bean Project’?
Our use of ‘Whole’ references the concepts of mental health, wellbeing and wholeness. The World Health Organisation says that mental health and wholeness involves being able to realise your potential, being able to be productive and fruitful, and being a part of a community.
The WHOLE Bean Project will support community participation and employment for people living with severe and complex mental health issues. The benefits of employment for people with lived experience are well established. These include social contact, financial benefit, more independence, fewer visits to mental health services, and greater wellbeing. In other words, safe and supportive employment can make positive contributions to one’s whole self.
Through a supportive approach free of stigma and discrimination, The WHOLE Bean Project aims to create a safe space where employees with lived experience can be their whole selves and shed their worries about hiding their mental health needs in the workplace.
‘The WHOLE Bean’ also references the delicious core of the project – freshly roasted specialty coffee beans! Bellarine Coffee Roasters and The WHOLE Bean Project are the new home of specialty coffee on Victoria’s spectacular Bellarine Peninsula.
The WHOLE Bean Project was named in collaboration with members of the lived experience community, and people who have an interest in mental health, stigma and discrimination.
How can you support The WHOLE Bean Project?
You can get some Bellarine Coffee Roasters coffee in your cup right now! Every bag of freshly roasted coffee you buy will support this good cause. Of course, you’ll be getting world-class, speciality coffee roasted right here on the Bellarine all at the same time.
You can also help by spreading the word about this new social enterprise! Help us by telling your neighbours, friends and family, and by sharing our Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube posts and website through your social media channels. With your help, The WHOLE Bean Project can start making real impact, really soon!
Why is this a project and not the company name?
The WHOLE Bean Project will be ongoing initiative. But! As Bellarine Coffee Roasters grow, so too will our ability to positively impact other social causes through the addition of new projects. For example, we have flagged the supporting the ATSI community and supporting LGBTIQA+ youth affected by insecure housing and homelessness as possible future project focus areas.
Bellarine Coffee Roasters acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the Wadawurrung land on which we work, and pay our respects to the Elders, past, present and emerging.