Thinking About Work


Can work add value to my family member’s life?

For many, work provides structure, a sense of purpose, and a source of income. (NAMI) Work can help to reduce symptoms (Saks) and can improve self esteem. (VanDongen) Work can help your family member find meaning. The benefit of work can be as simple as “a reason to get up in the morning”.

Any vocational experience is an opportunity to learn about one’s self. The work environment often helps to break isolation. (Mueser) When the work is meaningful to someone, it can help to shape that person’s identity and lead to improvements in other areas of life. Worker identity is important and evolves with time and experience. It is not something you have or don’t have. (Milner) Different life and work experiences help to strengthen a person’s identity. As worker identity develops, the possibilities for more satisfying work can also develop.

Getting a first job is critical, it doesn’t matter how much it pays or what the duties are (Zoe). Life and work experience help build a worker identity. As one grows in this identity, the opportunity for more fulfilling work grows.

Many people with mental health conditions work in professional or managerial positions. (Ellison; Cary)

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