Work Supports Recovery

Sep 21, 2023


When Rand [not real name] came to LifeWorks NW, he was experiencing Bipolar Disorder, ADHD, OCD and social anxiety. Not surprisingly, Rand says he didn’t know where to turn. He had been evicted and hadn’t been able to find or keep housing. Feeling mentally unstable, Rand didn’t know where to go.

According to Rand, his combined mental health issues negatively impacted his daily life, leaving him severely depressed. Daily tasks were a trial—from getting out of bed to brushing his teeth. His manic episodes could last up to three months, and his OCD and ADHD had never been treated. Finally, after a severe episode, during which he was carjacked, he came to LifeWorks NW seeking help and support.

At LifeWorks NW, he received help from our integrated, holistic care teams. After diagnosis, he received medication support, which he reports has been very helpful. In addition, he participated in therapy and had a peer support specialist.

Once he began to get more control over his mental health symptoms, he joined LifeWorks NW Supported Employment program.

“Through the Supported Employment Program, we’ve been able to help him gain and succeed with two positions,” says Eli Hernandez, Employment Support specialist. “He’s really benefitted from the program and has been engaged with the program support in every stage of obtaining employment. Such as job searching, creating a resume and cover letters to job development. Successful job development is how Rand got his current employment. He has also participated in job coaching and has increased his communication skills and has also been able to advocate and receive accommodations at work at his first job with employment services. Rand is currently active in his engagement with employment services and has support to continue his success with employment.”

Rand now has stable housing and was able to get a criminal history expunged. He is successfully working part-time and is able to maintain benefits while earning an income. He was able to reconnect with his daughter and now has her living with him.

According to Rand, continuing with his medication therapy has enabled him to maintain a job and make progress with his life goals.

“Working gives me money to eat better, save money aside for entertainment,” says Rand. “I’m able to take staycations and provide for myself and my family. I got reconnected with my daughter which I thought would never happen.”

“The Supported Employment Program is such an important part of recovery,” says Eli. “It enables clients to build self-esteem, learn to control their symptoms in public and rebuild their lives as productive adults.