Interim was honored to have been selected for an employer award by the Monterey County Committee for the Employment of People with Disabilities. The award is primarily due to the tireless efforts of the SEES program (Supported Education and Employment Services) and WET (Workforce Education and Training) program staff in preparing, finding, and placing Interim clients in jobs at the agency, as well as out in the community.
Idalia Mathews, SEES Program Coordinator, says she is “honored to work for such a great organization” and excited that Interim received this recognition award. When asked what the most satisfying part of her job is, she says it is seeing the successes of her clients. “It’s extremely gratifying when someone we work with, who couldn’t maintain a job before, remains successfully employed for many years, or to see someone graduate who struggled with school.”
People with serious mental illness often struggle to gain and maintain employment. According to a 2014 report examining employment trends of people with mental illness by the National Association on Mental Illness, unemployment for this population is over 80%. Meanwhile, it also found that most adults with mental illness want to work, and six in 10 can succeed with the right supports. The study found that the high rate of unemployment is due to a lack of employment support programs among mental health providers. Only 1.7% percent of people served in state mental health systems received supported employment services in 2012.
Interim has always strived to be a leader in implementing innovative and best-practices programs, opening the SEES program back in 1996. Last year, SEES and WET served a combined 187 clients last year. Interim has long believed in meaningful work and engagement as a path to recovery. True to our belief, it follows that 25% of Interim employees have mental health challenges.