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

Date Updated

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.