Thinking About Work


How can I motivate my family member to consider work?

Motivation is not a “thing” that you have or don’t have. Everyone is motivated for something – it might be freedom from anxiety or freedom from fear. It could be desire for travel. We are all different in terms of what we consider important. So families can gently suggest the idea of employment and be persistent (without nagging) about the possibilities. If the family member does not respond, see if s/he would consider an education or training approach.

You can expose your family member to information and to people such as mental health peers who know the employment world. Peers are persons in recovery who have achieved a certain level of quality in their lives and wish to help others. Peers can often reach people when no one else can. The authenticity of peers helping peers is a powerful support. “In self-help and mutual support, people offer this support, strength, and hope to their peers, which allows for personal growth, wellness promotion, and recovery.” (SAMHSA) If your family member is not receiving services in which peers are involved as vocational supporters, you could find out from the mental health service providers how your family member might get peer support, if your family member needs and wants this kind of support.

Return to List of Questions


How can I help my family member…