What are Employment Services?
Employment Services help individuals with psychiatric illness(es) find, get, and maintain jobs. Our Employment Services use a model of supported employment known as Individual Placement and Support (IPS). This means they work with individuals to help them find jobs of their choosing in a competitive job market. The team also provides ongoing support to help clients keep their jobs.
“Work is such an important part of recovery,” says Program Manager Peggy. “Work provides a paycheck, but in addition to that, work provides a sense of wellbeing, a place to make friends, something to share with friends and family when asked ‘what do you do?’, structure, and a focus on something other than being a mental health patient.”
Employment Services work with individuals to determine what careers they are interested in, find positions to apply for, and prepare for interviews. The Employment Services team can also work with other Guild teams and resource providers to help individuals access other services that they might need to help them keep their job.
Who does Employment Services Help?
Employment Services help adults with a serious mental illness living in Dakota, Ramsey, or Scott County. Individuals are referred through Guild’s Targeted Case Management services, or from outside case management organizations in Scott and Dakota County.
Youth Employment and Education Services help individuals living with a psychiatric illness who are ages 16-24 and live in Dakota County.
What’s it Like Being a Part of the Employment Services Team?
Because of the COVID pandemic, the Employment Services team meets with clients mainly over the phone. They discuss career interests, work history, and their previous challenges to keeping employment. The team also meets with current and potential employers to find new career opportunities for clients to apply to.
“The most important thing right away is to make a connection with people,” says Employment Specialist Brenda. “To me, connecting with people is critical.” The team works hard to inspire hope and show clients that they believe in their ability to succeed.
Working on the Employment Services team means there is “always something new, always something different,” says Brenda. She enjoys working with people who have a variety of different specialties, as well as partnering with case managers to help clients get the full spectrum of services they need.
The Employment Services team has a close and supportive relationship that they maintain even during the pandemic. “We have a chicken as a mascot,” says Peggy. “As you can imagine, there are lots of fun things we do with that theme!”