Success Story: Supported Employment Services

Sep 7, 2022


Supported Employment Specialist Heidy worked with a client we’ll call Jamie and shared her outstanding success.

A health care clinician referred Jamie [not real name] to LifeWorks NW’s Adult Rehabilitation Services four years ago because of an increase in severe psychotic episodes. She suffers from depression and mania, which make it hard for her to stay motivated, follow through with job related tasks, and maintain a job. When her symptoms worsen, Jamie becomes irritable and loses cognitive function and memory, which are compounded by a traumatic brain injury.

Jamie came to LifeWorks NW for support in managing her symptoms with medication and clinical services and to develop the skills necessary to be successful in a work environment. Jamie has actively participated in services, including mental health and medication services, which helped her to process the events of her life and better manage her symptoms with regular medication.

“While working with supported employment, she has been successful in participating in the a program connected to Vocational Rehabilitation, and has risen to the occasion of learning the necessary skills to help her be successful in the work environment,” says Heidy.

On an ongoing basis, Jamie continues to receive medication management and clinical services to process traumatic events and maintain coping skills. She also meets regularly with her supported employment specialist for support with problem solving and skills training to improve her time management skills and be more effective in her daily routine, productivity and memory.

“We’re so happy for Jamie and her hard work and success,” says Heidy. “She has been able to maintain her job, repair her vehicle, and is enjoying her work in a store. She’s excited to be in the community and being part of her work organization, and that’s what we all want for our clients—that they get to experience the community as an integrated citizen and lead an independent and purposeful life.”

According to Jamie, she has become more vulnerable and transparent, and her confidence has increased. She reports this being the longest period of being gainfully and successfully employed she’s ever experienced. Jamie was hired in April and has since graduated from Vocational Rehabilitation Services because she has been able to better focus on her tasks and learn the duties of her job. Since starting her job, Jamie’s been able to save for her own apartment, which she intends to have one day.

Her work supervisor says, “[She] has been a model employee and has had a positive transition into the workforce. Jamie’s last job was almost four years ago, and she has adapted to the… culture and learned her duties in a satisfactory way.”

According to her supervisor, Jamie’s new job has been beneficial for both her and the company.

Jamie feels that her work is stable and that she will be able to retain her position for a long period of time.

“I feel successful, I have a job, steady income, have formed new relationships at work, and I get to provide customers with a good experience when they come into the store,” Jamie says. “I am satisfied with my progress and with the support I received from my supported employment specialist and Voc Rehab.”