Our vocational program provides and supports a critical link in our client's journey in maintaining long term recovery. Whether in recovery from a mental illness, substance use or in fact, from any disability, the data suggests employment is a critical element in sustaining recovery.
Gainful and meaningful employment can enhance a person's recovery. Not only does meaningful employment help pay the bills, it can also help provide a person with a sense of of pride and belonging. It offers opportunities to others socially.
Unfortunately, many barriers to employment exist for individuals with mental illness and/or substance use disorder including stigma, lack of support, myths concerning benefits, family members and waiting lists for services. One of the biggest barriers has come from professionals, and paraprofessionals who underestimate their ability to work in integrated competitive employment.
Our mission in the vocational program is to first work to overcome any of our "blind spots" when it comes to what people in recovery of are capable of achieving and second, to practice an approach to job placement that the result in individuals obtaining and maintaining integrated competitive employment of their choosing through rapid job placement, which will increase their self-sufficiency and further their recovery.
We all come with prejudices or "blind spots" and the first step in overcoming those is to admit them and then work toward overcoming them. We try to overcome these barriers to our effectiveness through open-mindedness and training. To that end, your general orientation to Wings includes some information information to begin overcoming any stigma that may limit your abilities. You will be given training on person-centered services and planning , trauma-informed care, consumer rights and cultural competency.
This vocational training package continues this training by introducing and defining the idea of integrated employment and the approach or model (IPS-SE) we use when assisting person served in locating, obtaining, and maintaining employment.
Integration, in this context, is concerned with how people live. Living incorporates housing, employment, level of socialization, and freedom. Individuals with mental illness and/or substance use disorders want to work in settings that are integrated and competitive. It is important that as providers of employment services we focus on competitive integrated employment. Integrated competitive employment is defined as work being performed on a full-time or part-time basis in an integrated setting. Key components on integrated employment include: being paid the customary wage for for similar work being performed by someone without a disability, in a setting in the community where individuals with disabilities and without disabilities interact with one another on a regular basis, where individuals with and without disabilities interact with customers at the same level, where comparable positions ear the same wage and perform the same duties, and where individuals with and without disabilities spend a comparable amounts of time with the public.
The approach we utilize here at Wings is Evidence-based and the Best Practice for employment services. We focus on informed choices of the individual who is participating in those services. We also offer services