I wanted to publish an extra blog entry today after having read an Atlantic magazine news article on Twitter. It quoted research that 70 to 80 percent of individuals living with schizophrenia want to work and think they’re capable of working.
The Atlantic article said it’s their doctors who tell their patients they can’t work. I have in these various incarnations of my blog for the last nine years railed against the mental health staff who have a dim view of what patients diagnosed with schizophrenia can do in their lives.
I have always championed that in my own life I recovered BECAUSE I found the jobs I love and that I’m good at. I wasn’t able to do these jobs because I had recovered. I will always claim that it is the other way around: I recovered only after I found the careers I loved.
In New York City: Baltic Street AEH, Inc. provides advocacy employment and housing for individuals with mental illnesses. Baltic Street has an employment agency with two locations in Brooklyn. The staff there help people get and keep jobs they like and would be good at too.
The day is here. Today is the day when not only it’s possible to recover it’s possible to have a full and robust life equal to people in society who don’t have mental illnesses.
If you are a mental health staff person I urge you to take the long view and consider that your clients can indeed work at some kind of job. It might not always be a JD or MD. It might be a job in Rite Aid. It could be as the CEO of a corporation like my friend was able to do.
I urge readers to consider doing what I do. My first thought is NOT “This is impossible” or “I won’t be able to do this.” My automatic thought is “How can I make this happen?”
If you have a goal of any kind–to get a job, to live in your own apartment, whatever–I’ll be the first to tell you that you have right inside yourself what you need to succeed.
And if you want to get a job you can go to your local neighborhood library and ask if at a branch in their system a librarian helps people create resumes. Resume help is available at libraries in Brooklyn, NY.
Turn over every stone. Be creative. If a solution isn’t immediately available, see what you can do differently using your own strengths and your external support system.
Remember: I’m confident when I tell readers that I recovered BECAUSE I found the jobs I love.
If you want to work, you deserve to try. I will devote more blog entries here to this topic in the future.