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At Work/Au travail project
Whether you’re looking for employment or employees, At Work can help!
Having a job is not only possible for people living with a mental illness, it also can be a key component to maintaining good mental health and to recovery.
The CMHA NS At Work program helps Nova Scotians living with a mental illness who are unemployed or under-employed obtain competitive employment by connecting them to workplaces that match their strengths, skills, and needs to build resilience and bring experienced employees to workplaces.
Working alongside both employers and clients, the At Work team develops an achievable action plan that supports mental wellness to ensure success.
No diagnosis is required to access this program.
At Work is a national program delivered by the Canadian Mental Health Association in communities across Canada, including Nova Scotia.
This free program is available to any Nova Scotian over the age of sixteen who is:
- Legally entitled to work in Canada
- Resides in Nova Scotia
- Unemployed or underemployed
- Lives with a mental illness, mental health challenge or substance use disorder (no diagnosis required)
Mental illness shouldn’t be a barrier to employment.
- Available to anyone in need of work with mental health or addictions issue (no diagnosis required)
- Individuals can’t have received employment insurance benefits within five years of entering the program (extenuating circumstances can be reviewed)
- Funding support for career training opportunities
- Mental health supports: one-on-one peer support; resilience, self-control, self-esteem, self-autonomy coaching
- Resume development and interview guidance
- Rapid job placement offers the opportunity to experience different work settings/industries
- Temporary utilities and rent support to ensure stable housing, as needed
- Referrals may come from family/child services, employment agencies, social service agencies, Nova Scotia Health Authority, justice services
- Wage subsidies available to employers for up to four months
- Availability of motivated, trained, skilled candidates
- Ongoing case management fosters employer-employee relationship, ensures success
- Rapid, internship-style job placement allows for no long-term obligation by the employer
Our approach: 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
Background: People with mental illness can, should and often need to work. The social costs of the unemployment and underemployment of people living with mental illness are incalculable: deteriorated health, additional health care costs, financial struggle for families, among many others. Additionally, work gives a source of purpose and allows us to contribute to our families and society. Sustained employment is an incredibly important factor for recovery.
To learn more, contact:
Tracy Hiltz, Provincial Lead At Work program, CMHA NS Division at [email protected] or by phone, at 902.517.2430
Download our brochure HERE
“After facing several obstacles re-integrating into the workforce after receiving treatment, I was finally able to focus on healing and hope. My enrolment into the [At Work] program was a steppingstone to stability. It helped me find my confidence and a career that allows me to thrive.” – Former At Work Client