Finding a Path to Employment


What if s/he doesn’t want my help?

This often comes up with many young people (and, in fact, people of all ages) with mental health conditions. It may be helpful to ask family members how you can best help them without making their decisions. Let your family member know that you are there to support the choice s/he makes. Consider the difference between information and advice. You can provide information in a “neutral” way that does seem like advice. Your family member will likely need other mentors and confidants to guide him/her through the process.

It may be that your family member can do a number of things without your help. However, families can play a valuable role in assisting their family member long before the vocational decisions are made or before a vocational search begins. They can help them build up their social connections which can pay off in the future employment efforts (Amodo). In other words, the needed networks are not suddenly necessary when it is time to go to work. Over the time leading up to the point of “employability”, the individual and the family can build up their cadre of people, places, things and resources that can be tapped. The social network becomes a rich source of possible employment information, future informational interviews, internships or employment leads (Loury).

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How can I help my family member…