Supported Employment Program Changes Lives

 

Rosa * is a lovely mature woman in her late 50s who has been staying home alone and struggling with anxiety and depression for many, many years. Crippled by her symptoms and the fear they resulted in, she had no way to leave the house without becoming panicked. This just fed her depression, and it seemed like she was caught in a vicious circle that kept her stuck.

Fortunately, Rosa sought out treatment with a therapist at the Greater Nashua Mental Health Center, and she began to work through the barriers which kept her from living an improved life – a life she truly wanted for herself.

When Rosa expressed an interest in getting a job, a specialist from our Supported Employment program was assigned to meet with her. In the program, clients are assessed as to their interests, goals, and abilities, in order to obtain meaningful employment that they wish to pursue. However, the responsibility lies with the client to actually find the job, even though the employment specialist is there as a guide each step of the way. Clients receive assistance with crafting a resume and cover letter, practicing interviewing skills, choosing appropriate interview clothing, or any other challenge that may interfere with reaching their goals. Once on the job, the employment specialist follows the client, and is there as a support should any issues arise while working. In this way there is a safety net available for clients who may not have worked in a long time, and don’t necessarily feel confident in their ability to succeed.

Rosa is now working 25 hours a week, and she just beams when she talks about it. She states that her family and friends have told her how great she looks, and in fact she agrees. Her happiness radiates from within. Rosa has coworkers that she can talk with, and she feels a real sense of belonging to a group, and a new purpose in her life. Getting a paycheck is a bonus as well!

Now that she is working, Rosa couldn’t be happier. She exudes confidence and a sense of well-being. Whenever anyone asks what her secret is for looking so well, she gladly tells them:

“Working keeps you young! You have to get out of the house and be around people.”

*Name has been changed for client privacy and anonymity.