Sybil’s Story – Supported Employment
Mental Health challenges prevented Sybil from maintaining a job for several years. Her income consisted of social security benefits, food stamps and she lived in low-income housing.
Sybil knew that she wanted a better life, but her mental health symptoms led her to question her abilities and her self-esteem. To Sybil, finding and maintaining a job seemed like an unachievable goal.
She was stuck. She didn’t know what to do.
Then Sybil found a powerful resource when she began to work with LifeWorks NW’s supported employment program.
Working with a supported employment specialist, she began to discuss interests, explore different job ideas, and take steps toward achieving her goal of getting back into the work force. Once she learned about a career path in peer delivered services, Sybil knew that she identified a job goal that would be realistic for her and fulfilling.
Through supported employment, she learned what it would be like working as a peer delivered services professional. Sybil’s specialist arranged meetings with organizations that offer training and jobs in peer delivered services. Supported Employment coordinated services at the State Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, which covered the cost of Sybil’s training.
She excelled in training and that experience solidified her interest in her career aspirations.
After interviewing with a large agency in Portland, Sybil was hired as a full-time employee. To prepare her for her new job, the State Office of Vocational Rehabilitation and made sure she had everything she needed in order to be successful on the job. The office provided Sybil with some work clothing and initial help with the cost of transportation to and from work.
Sybil prospered once on the job and increased responsibility helped to boost her confidence as well as income and self-sufficiency. She continues to work full-time as a peer wellness specialist and has been employed for almost two years — and she has been promoted.
Sybil is extremely satisfied with her career track and she says it was a pivotal moment for her when she realized that she has value, talent and strengths to share with others.
LifeWorks NW has helped many clients like Sybil reenter the workforce and lead healthy and productive lives.