Supported Employment is key to recovery
Finding a job is hard work. But finding a job when you have a mental illness or developmental disability can be even more of a challenge. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the jobless rate for those with disabilities is at 12.7 percent, compared with the national average of 6.1 percent.
But Monarch’s Supported Employment program is working to change those numbers one person and job at a time.
The program provides help with a little of everything-from budget management and interview preparation- to the main goal of securing and maintaining employment.
When a jobseeker comes to the program looking for work, they are assigned to an employment support specialist and a peer support specialist team. In Stanly County, Tommy Owen and Stephen Brannan are that team.Owen and Brannan meet with them to establish goals. The first goal is always to secure employment.
Owen, an employment support specialist, has been working with Monarch since January and he and Brannan have already helped more than 30 people secure jobs in Stanly County. His job on the team is to meet with new job-seekers, help them to create a resume and learn about their interests and passions. Participants of the program are then ready to start looking for jobs, setting up appointments and preparing for interviews.
Once a job is secured, Brannan, employment peer mentor, gets to work ensuring that the person supported can maintain employment and stabilize other areas of their life.
“I help people with budget management and locate and obtain housing; I’m a jack of all trades. He [Owen] helps them with job coaching, securing employment, and follow-ups once they are employed. Then I take it from there. We work as a team and it’s been very successful,” Brannan said.
He explained that each person they work with has different goals and passions which they use to create a customized plan for each person supported.
Often, they have to help rebuild people’s self-esteem and confidence. “You have to take certain steps first,” Brannan explained. “You have to gain the trust of the people we support and you need to listen. It’s about knowing each person's strengths and weaknesses, using those strengths to locate employment and work on their goals, while building weaknesses and learning how to overcome them.”
For information on Monarch’s supported employment services: Click here.