Let’s Talk Employment
A Guide for Family Members of Individuals in Mental Health Recovery
Partnering with Providers
What Questions Should I Ask?
- Why is it beneficial to partner with providers?
- What would my primary role be in a partnership?
What You Should Know
With your family member’s permission, you can communicate with vocational services providers. This primarily is to give them information about your family member, such as methods that have been helpful in the past, skills, and talents that your family member might have, or the most effective ways to communicate with them. The two most valuable ways that families can support their loved ones are 1) being a good role model and 2) giving positive messages. You can serve as a model for your family member by having a respectful, mutual-working relationship with vocational services providers.
If you collaborate successfully with vocational providers, with their permission, it sends a good message to your loved one. There may be options for you to be part of a planning session, but most of the time that should not be necessary. Should your family member not wish you to communicate with their vocational service provider, you might tell them that you will respect that wish. You might also ask why they would like to keep you out of the loop. There may still be exceptions that your family member might agree to, such as an open house, social event, or family night. In the event of an emergency you can contact the vocational provider to let them know what has happened (a one-way communication).
Leggatt, M. (2002). Families and mental health workers: The need for partnership. World Psychiatry, 1(1): 52–54.
Addresses ways in which mental health professionals need to work with families; not about vocational services per se, but does include need for a wide array of services including rehabilitative services.
Questions about partnering. Boston University Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation. Explores how to partner with providers, promote respect from the vocational provider.