John* works at his job after getting the help he needed for mental illness

The right support at the right time

John* works at his job after getting the help he needed for mental illness

After being diagnosed with schizoid personality disorder, John* finally understood why he was having trouble getting and keeping a job. Though the diagnosis was hard, he took affirmative action and began seeing a psychiatrist to help him understand and deal with his illness — with the ultimate goal finding a job.

Mental illness is more common in Canada than most people think. 20% of Canadians will personally experience a mental illness in their lifetime. Getting the right support at the right time can make a big difference. United Way-funded programs like Career Links help those in our community who struggle to get employment because of illness or disease.

John’s struggle with social interaction and developing working relationships created barriers he was struggling to overcome. To help him improve on his interpersonal skills, he was referred to United Way’s partner, Career Links, who helped him open up his options for employment.

His coach saw that John was highly motivated, very dependable and dedicated to his work.

After two months of coaching by Career Links, John was trained and ready to go into an interview with confidence. When he got the job, his coach made sure John was performing, his illness was being controlled and his goals were being met. His employer, supervisors and coaches all reported that his attitude was exemplary and their satisfaction with his work ethic was undeniable. His months of training were paying off.

Since John’s placement in January 2012, he is productive and satisfied with his new employer.

What supports do you think are most essential for those experiencing mental illness? 

*Please note: This name has been changed to preserve the confidentiality of those accessing United Way-funded programs.