About the program
At Work/Au travail is a national collaboration delivered in communities across Canada, including communities that span across Nova Scotia. Using a strengths-based approach, we connect people to meaningful employment supports, helping us to make Nova Scotia a diversified, equitable place for all people to work.
How it works
At Work/Au travail at CMHA Nova Scotia has a twofold approach:
- Supporting unemployed and underemployed individuals living with a mental health or addiction issue that has affected their employability by connecting them, where appropriate, with mental health supports, housing supports, career counselling, training opportunities, job placement, and ongoing job coaching.
- Working with community-based agencies to promote and refer individuals into the At Work/Au travail program, and engaging employers in need of skilled people to match clients based on their career goals.
Our approach: Individual Placement and Support
Supports through At Work/Au travail are based on the Individual Placement and Support (IPS) model, a recognized industry best practice for employment support of individuals experiencing mental illness. IPS includes eight core principles:
- Competitive employment – Identifying career-oriented jobs that pay liveable wages
- Systematic job development – Engaging employers, based on the client’s preferences, to understand their business needs and hiring preferences
- Rapid job search – An approach to help job seekers obtain jobs rather than assessments, training and counselling, with the first face-to-face contact with an employer within 30 days
- Integrated services – Supporting clients with mental health coaching and connections to additional services
- Benefits planning – Helping clients obtain personalized, understandable, and accurate information about workplace benefits and government entitlements
- Zero exclusion – People are not excluded based on readiness, diagnoses, symptoms, substance use history, psychiatric hospitalizations, homelessness, level of disability or legal system involvement
- Time-unlimited supports – Individualized, face-to-face support continues at least monthly for as long as the client wants and needs
- Worker preferences – Services are based on each client’s preferences and choices rather than employment specialist or supervisor judgments
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