What job preparation supports might benefit young people with mental health issues?

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Students with mental health issues benefit from traditional job supports such as career assessments, job search training, and work-based learning opportunities. As referenced in the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability's workforce guide, youth with mental health needs may also benefit from employment programs that offer

  • opportunities to gain and practice their work skills in workplace settings;
  • positive behavioral supports in work settings;
  • connections to successfully employed peers and role models with mental health needs;
  • knowledge of effective methods of stress management to cope with the pressures of the workplace;
  • knowledge of and access to a full range of workplace supports and accommodations such as supported employment, customized employment, job carving, and job coaches; and
  • connections as early as possible to programs and service (e.g., Career One-Stop, Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Service, community rehabilitation programs) for career exploration provided in a non-stigmatizing environment.

In addition, young people with mental health issues may benefit from access training specifically designed to educate them about disability-related matters such as benefits planning, disclosure options, accommodation needs, and available disability-related work support options.

For more information on mental illness, including typical accommodations for students with mental illness, consult the Knowledge Base article What is a mental illness? and the publication Academic Accommodations for Students with Psychiatric Disabilities.

Last update or review: January 22, 2013