Family Advocacy Team
The Behavioral Health Administration and NAMI Maryland (National Alliance on Mental Illness) have partnered in the development of Maryland’s Family Advocacy Team. The purpose of this team is to enlist family members as champions for supported employment and the significant role that work plays in the recovery process. The team seeks to support and encourage family members in getting their loved ones back to work.
If interested in joining the Family Advocacy Team, contact us here.
The following is an example of how a family member has experienced the value in supported employment and witnessed the impact that employment has had on their loved one. If you want to share your own testimony please feel free to contact us here.
“I think PDG is a great organization that helps the family members, especially when you have problems communicating to your loved ones and you’re having a hard time, you can use them for guidance. M—– feels more confident. PDG has helped with keeping him on balance and they helped him find a job. He likes his new job and PDG helps me by being more people and support in his life. Having a job has helped with his nightmares too. It’s good to know you can always turn to PDG for strength, and if it wasn’t for PDG, I would be lost.”
The following is a real life supported employment success story from the supported employment program at Partnership Develop Group (PDG). For more information on supported employment please contact us here.
“O and I began working together on 10/16/15. O was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and struggled with debilitating depressive symptoms. These symptoms had prevented her from maintaining employment; her last job deteriorated over several months due to increasing depression and an unwillingness to leave her house. When we began, O wanted a position in job coaching and community outreach. O was understandably worried, though, about her ability to stay committed to a company, so we focused our time on finding a company and position that not only provided the right atmosphere for O, but afforded her the opportunities to change and grow that would keep her motivated long term. During this process, I encouraged O to leave her house for community job development, and O’s interview skills improved as we practiced answering questions together.
As O felt more comfortable and confident, she attended and did well in several interviews. As a result, O received three job offers. O and I carefully reviewed her options, and O chose to work for a smaller company that paid less, in order to feel comfortable with her new duties and more heard by her supervisor. O initially chose not to disclose and opted for part time hours, so I helped her off site to address concerns she had and develop coping skills with her to deal with depressive episodes. O has now been working successfully for six months. O takes a new PRN medication and uses coping skills to effectively manage her depressive symptoms. O recently chose to disclose, and thanks in part to O’s flexible and accommodating supervisor, O has incrementally increased her hours to full time without triggering any symptoms.
O and I continue to address external triggers to her life and the importance of self care. O reports loving her job and she has a plan for growth within the company. I coordinate regularly with her supervisor, who is also dedicated to helping O achieve her full potential. Despite O’s obstacles, she’s learned to manage her personal and professional life well, and will continue to grow.” -PDG Job Coach