Employment and Economic Self Sufficiency



Len Statham, Employment and Economic Self Sufficiency

Specialist lens@nyaprs.org

(585) 490-3979

A statewide coalition of people who use and/or provide community mental health recovery services and supports dedicated to improving services and social conditions for people with psychiatric disabilities by promoting their recovery, rehabilitation and rights

Members Services and Technical Assistance

 Grassroots Advocacy E News Regional Forums

Annual Conference Exec Seminar PROS Academy

Service Transformation

Community and Economic Development

Peer Services

Cultural Competence website www.nyaprs.org

Participants will learn how culture drives outcomes and outcomes drive culture

Participants will recognize the link between poverty and mental illness

Participants will come away with ten concrete steps they can implement immediately that will help them foster a culture of employment

Participants will be introduced to curriculum that will help move people along the continuum of Employment and Economic


Welcome & Expectations

Why Employment & Economic Self-


Exercise: What do we want?

“We Can Work DVD”

The Tools

Making Employment Work: Building a culture that supports work


Being able to provide for ourselves in order to meet our essential needs and wants.

When we are self-sufficient, we are financially independent.

When we have independence we can pursue the life we want for ourselves.






Having control over one’s financial life

Having independence from public programs

Having sufficient earned income

Having assets

Being able to contribute to one’s communities

Living with chronic worry or anxiety to meet one’s basic needs

Residing in neighborhoods where violence and deteriorating community ties leave individuals in isolation

Being so afraid of not making it without benefits that one prefers to stay in the benefits trap

Lacking transportation to take a job or a better paying job

Lacking the resources or supports to pursue a new career or advance professionally









Positive opinions about the future

Increase self esteem

Decrease psychiatric symptoms


Increase social contacts

Decrease potential for relapse

Increase social status

Increase income

Name 5 things you would like to have in your life in the next year? 3 years?

How will you acquire these things?

Can you do it on a budget of $785 a month?

The role of life dreams and aspirations in the pursuit of employment and economic change

– What moves people to do what they do?

– Why people would consider work or becoming more self-sufficient?

Key questions:

– What are your life dreams and aspirations?

– How would you like your life to be like in 1 year? in

2 years? In 5 years?

– What would you like to have? What would you like to be doing? Where would you like to live?


WE Can Work DVD:

Our Stories of Recovery and

Employment Success




Lesson 1: Why Is Economic Self-sufficiency Important to


Lesson 2: What Can Providers Do to Support Economic Self-


A recovery-oriented approach to financial wellness

What providers can do to support economic self-sufficiency: An overview

Engaging individuals through conversations about life dreams

 Assessing readiness to pursue economic self-sufficiency

 Developing readiness to pursue economic self-sufficiency

Creating a plan towards self-sufficiency

 Developing skills and capital to achieve self-sufficiency

 Linking and referring individuals to economic self-sufficiency services

Lesson 3: Strategies and Tools to Engage, Assess and Develop

Readiness towards Economic Self-Sufficiency


Provider Guide: Contents

Lesson 4: Strategies and Tools to Create a Plan towards Self-sufficiency

Lesson 5: Strategies and Tools to Develop Skills and Capital to Achieve Self-


Module 1: Budgeting

Module 2: Accessing work incentives to increase earned income

Module 3: Filing taxes

Module 4: Saving

Module 5: Clearing and building credit

Module 6: Dealing with predatory lending

Module 7: Getting help with addictions and financial stressors

Module 8: Increasing social capital

Lesson 6: Strategies and Tools to Increase Access to Economic Self-sufficiency



Outcomes drive Culture

Zero Exclusion

Application process for job development or volunteer positions

Performance Reviews

Time off request

Job Board

Achievement Board

Weekly / Monthly Forums


Integrated team – Everyone is on the employment team.

Everyone supports economic selfsufficiency.

Support recovery and work oriented culture

Look for job leads


Jobs are celebrated milestones

Employment discussed at every staff meeting.

“ No one ever talked to me about work.”

“I experienced that work was helpful in managing my symptoms.”

“Work gave me the confidence that I can do anything that I put my mind to.”

“Has help me to be a better person knowing that I am needed somewhere.”

Employment time vs. Human service time.

Visits to employers using the 3 Cups of Tea


Sits on the following Business/Association

Councils: North Clinton Business Association,

Wal-Mart/City Hall Committee, Rotary Club, and Rochester Area Employment Network.

Using numerous job development strategies.

Our circle is their circle.

Help me determine what my level of readiness to pursue employment is

Enhance my willingness to engage in activities/actions to pursue employment

Find best ways to engage me in the process

Get in touch with my hopes, preferences, values

Explore past and current experiences

Consider future possibilities

Create action steps that develop readiness


NOT about labeling me as “ready” or “not ready” to work

NOT about screening me out or excluding me from vocational services

NOT about my capacity to work or improve my economic self-sufficiency

NOT about determining the achievability or realism of my goals