Finding a Path to Employment


Why is choice important for my family member?

Finding a person’s old hopes and dreams begins the rebuilding a life of meaning and purpose. Often, having the person begin to help others, no matter how disabled he or she is currently, helps to reclaim hope, resilience, and a life. Let recipients amaze and astonish you!

– Courtenay Harding, Foundation for Excellence in Mental Health Care

Many individuals who have suffered from mental health conditions lose the opportunity to make choices, and in essence they lose their freedom. As a result, they may have less confidence in their ability and their own skills to choose. Often by the time the idea of employment presents itself, the person has to relearn the notion that there are choices and there are ways to explore new horizons. Supportive people, vocational resources and the many resources on the internet can open doors that were once closed. (Chamberlin)
One of the great contributions of the disability rights movement and the mental health peer movement is the focus on informed choice and self determination in life and in recovery. For some, the loss of choice and the inability to make decisions have been so long term, that the person has to learn all over again what it means to decide for oneself. (Cook; Farkas; Schauer)
Also, choices we once thought were not feasible are finding new places in the spectrum of vocational choice. Self-employment, careers and professional positions are among the possibilities (Ellison)

Self Employment and Entrepreneurship

The Office of Disability Employment Policy has compiled these resources, which are available to people with disabilities who want to start their own businesses.


The 6 Reasons You’ll get that Job

Elisabeth (Harney) Sanders-Park’s book discusses the job-search & hiring processes from the employer’s perspective. Namely four ways to prove a candidate has what an employer wants, six tools to avoid being screened-out, & strategies for people with barriers to employment.


Self Employment for People with Mental Health Problems

View these 7 stories of persons with mental health conditions who are self employed. You may watch this 30-minute film as a whole or view each story individually.


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How can I help my family member…