Keeping a Job
What should I do if I see my family member having job-related stress?
You can remind your family member that job-related stress is very common for everyone, especially when starting a new position. You can help your family member to make sure s/he has a “toolkit” of wellness practices for reducing or preventing stress. This may be something an Employment Specialist or therapist helps to develop or it may be you that helps.
Here are some wellness approaches developed by people in recovery. One commonly used evidence based practice is the Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) which is a self-management system. Each person creates a WRAP setting out goals, type of help needed, what helps keep them well, and what puts their mental health at risk. WRAP aims to:
- increase the person’s sense of control over their mental health problems
- increase personal empowerment
- improve quality of life
- assist people in achieving their own life goals and dreams
A WRAP will also state how the person wants others to respond when symptoms have made it difficult to continue making decisions safely.
However, keep in mind the family member can also use just a simple practice such as breathing, mantras or meditation. Even these practices may need to be learned – whether from a wellness coach, meditation teacher, a DVD, You Tube or an online training.
Be available to talk to your family member about the things that are at the root of the anxiety at work and help to problem-solve if you have that kind of relationship.The ability to manage job-related stress is one of the most important skills in job retention.
Persons with mental health conditions may struggle with a job due to “soft skill” problems (such as social behaviors.) ODEP provides a soft skills curriculum for people with disabilities entitled Skills to Pay the Bills which is especially helpful to young people.