What Career Practitioners Need to Know:
Supporting clients with mental health challenges

NEXT STEPS
Neasa Martin & Kathy ...
Project Partners




CERIC - funder
NSCDA - project sponsor
N.S. province-wide approach

Kathy McKee






Manager...
Project’s Roots

 Numbers of clients
presenting with mental health
issues,  disclosure.
Do ‘they’ belong?
Are Career Pra...
What did we find?
Contact is common - disclosure is not.
 No ‘them” & “us”. Mental health problems affects many - includi...
Findings cont.
CP & mental health clients agree:





Work is important, recovery is possible, don’t need to be sympto...
Identified Training Needs


Stigma & social inclusion





How & when to refer to services focused on employment.
Legal...
Preferred Training Approaches
Make training accessible ($, access)









Mental Health First Aid.
Joint trainin...
Changing
training, policies
& practices

Changing attitudes
• Personal contact
• Education
• Protest
Take away learning
Change required:





Individual level.
Workplace practices.
Community level.
Whole-government appr...
It started with What is wrong with people?
And then became –
What is wrong with us?

the
individual

Cannexus Jan. 28th 20...
 What

the
individual

Cannexus Jan. 28th 2013

are my issues?
 How do I feel about these
clients?
 What have I been
ta...
Disclosure.
 Understanding.
‘compassion fatigue’.
 Knowing when to refer.
 How’s your mental
health?
 What if we talke...
 Mental

the
community

Cannexus Jan. 28th 2013

health stream @
conference.
 Discrimination.
 What are services called...
 How

the
society

do policies handcuff
CPs from providing the
best services.
 Do we value differences.
 Do we allow di...
Discussion….




What are your learning
needs? Preferred approach?



Are there partnership
opportunities?


Cannexus ...
http://chartingthecourse.nscda.
Cannexus Jan. 28th 2013

Charting the Course, Neasa Martin & Kathy McKee

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What Career Practitioners Need to Know: Supporting Clients with Mental Health Challenges, Cannexus 2013

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Summary presentation of research findings looking at the knowledge, skills, behaviours and attitudes career support workers need to assist clients presenting with mental health issues meet their employment goals.

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  • Employment is a cornerstone of equality and inclusion. Stigma towards people with mental health issues limits their economic and civic opportunities and quality of life. Undertaking a Nova Scotia-wide transformative research and engagement project, we identified what training career professionals say they need to effectively support people with mental health issues enter, retain or return to competitive employment. We will share our learning and seek your input to validate our findings.
  • Canadian Education Research Institute for Counseling
    Nova Scotia Career Development Association
  • Jokes, gossip, denial of benefits (sick leave), shunning, lack of promotion, firing, different workload expectations….
  • The FIRST step in improving supports and services needs to start at the personal level
    Without this policy, training and practices won’t happen or may reinforce common beliefs on incompetence, incapacity, impulsivity and dangerousness
  • Kathy
    No “them & us - we issue
    Change starts with individual attitudes
    Supporting disclosure
    Ask everyone who accesses services - how is your mental health?
    Segregated vs mainstream services
    Based on choice - mainstream services need improve services to include broad community
    Integrate mental health and employment services - Establishment of Service Group focused on MH.
    Build peer support into service delivery. Roy Muise -research partner hired to coordinate province-wide peer support strategy. Government policy priority.
    Promote recovery practices to reduce ‘compassion fatigue’.
    Recovery-focus reduces compassion fatigue
    Creating Psychologically Safe Workplaces - promote new National Standards.
    CERIC created new funding stream focused on disability and mental health issues.
  • Several years ago I noticed a definite negative vibe in our work. It began to surface when things got tough – few job, perception of few opportunities, everyone who could work was or they had gone west. We were seeing more and more clients with significant barriers to employment.
    CPs would say “Wow, another one”. Anxiety must be the new “thing.” Oh, God, is he back again – can we move him along?
    After a while, clients presenting with mental health challenges became the norm and then by far the majority. We were looking at a client load where up to 80% were disclosing MH challenges. And we are a mainstream service provider in a small rural town. Our lack of specific skills to enable us to provide the best possible service was made evident.
    Our deficiencies were mirrored in the hopelessness of clients. Our own personal pain that we had worked so hard to hide and cope with was coming to the forefront – so what was wrong with us?
    I called Neasa…..started the change in our thinking.
  • What Career Practitioners Need to Know: Supporting Clients with Mental Health Challenges, Cannexus 2013

    1. 1. What Career Practitioners Need to Know: Supporting clients with mental health challenges NEXT STEPS Neasa Martin & Kathy McKee Cannexus 2013 Conference, January 28th, 2013, Ottawa, ON
    2. 2. Project Partners    CERIC - funder NSCDA - project sponsor N.S. province-wide approach Kathy McKee      Manager Career Resource Centre Career Practitioner Board NSCDA Chair Career Managers Network NS Project management Neasa Martin      Cannexus Jan. 28th 2013 Charting the Course researcher 30 yrs mental health experience Rehabilitation medicine 10 years as consultant Focus on stigma, discrimination, peer support, recovery & social inclusion Charting the Course, Neasa Martin & Kathy McKee 2
    3. 3. Project’s Roots  Numbers of clients presenting with mental health issues,  disclosure. Do ‘they’ belong? Are Career Practitioner attitudes (stigma) a barrier? Transformational research: Shared research on stigma, surveys, regional meetings, roundtables… What do we need to know to provide effective services? Cannexus Jan. 28th 2013 Charting the Course, Neasa Martin & Kathy McKee 3
    4. 4. What did we find? Contact is common - disclosure is not.  No ‘them” & “us”. Mental health problems affects many - including CPs.  Disclosure tied to acceptance / perceived advantage.  Impact of mhp huge (confidence, finances, employment, socially). Career Practitioners need to know about:  stigma, mental illness, treatment, legal rights & entitlements, resources, peer support, coaching, recovery, supporting employers. CP rate current knowledge & skills higher than their clients do.  CP not great at: sharing tools for work, supporting mh client, LESS likely to refer mh clients for training.  CP satisfaction working with clients high - so are frustrations. Stigma & discrimination common in services, policies & community.  Clients report it as more common. CP with mhp feel its sting.  Major barrier to employment. Cannexus Jan. 28th 2013 Charting the Course, Neasa Martin & Kathy McKee 4
    5. 5. Findings cont. CP & mental health clients agree:     Work is important, recovery is possible, don’t need to be symptom free. No less reliable employees. May need accommodations. Clients face multiple barriers - poverty, housing, transportation, health issues… Internal barriers - insight, illness management, self stigma, loss of hope. What is critical to CP / client relationship:    Attitudes: Choice, inclusion, see capacity, trust, respect, fairness, privacy, hope, compassion. Focus on work not illness. Knowledge: mh & support services, accommodations. Skills in assessment, motivating and coaching re: employment Service-level policy barriers:  Policies limit CPs, service structures (mh clients referred on), funding models, time constraints, creating service partnerships. System issues:  Limited mh services, narrow focus, disability funding model, siloed services. Cannexus Jan. 28th 2013 Charting the Course, Neasa Martin & Kathy McKee 5
    6. 6. Identified Training Needs  Stigma & social inclusion   How & when to refer to services focused on employment. Legal rights & accommodations. Managing disclosure + / -. Assessment tools, motivation & adult learning tools. Coaching, recovery concepts. Peer support & role in employment. Ways to support employers. Labour market trends & opportunities.  Promoting mentally health workplaces.       Cannexus Jan. 28th 2013 Charting the Course, Neasa Martin & Kathy McKee 6
    7. 7. Preferred Training Approaches Make training accessible ($, access)         Mental Health First Aid. Joint training with mental health professionals. Consumer-led workshops. Mentorship to reinforce learning. Case-based teaching. Workplace seminars. Prof. development workshops. Print/web materials for clients. NSCDA take the lead.      Take a lead on training. Promote co-ordination of services & systems. Advocate gov. for policies & funding practices that remove barriers & improve employment. Tools to support employers - accommodations. Recommend inclusion in National CP Guidelines. Cannexus Jan. 28th 2013 Charting the Course, Neasa Martin & Kathy McKee 7
    8. 8. Changing training, policies & practices Changing attitudes • Personal contact • Education • Protest
    9. 9. Take away learning Change required:     Individual level. Workplace practices. Community level. Whole-government approach to social inclusion. Next steps:   Cannexus Jan. 28th 2013 CERIC Grant for training. Bell Foundation grant for MHF focused on CPs. Charting the Course, Neasa Martin & Kathy McKee
    10. 10. It started with What is wrong with people? And then became – What is wrong with us? the individual Cannexus Jan. 28th 2013 the organization the community Charting the Course, Neasa Martin & Kathy McKee the society 10
    11. 11.  What the individual Cannexus Jan. 28th 2013 are my issues?  How do I feel about these clients?  What have I been taught?  What are my values about who “deserves” my time? Charting the Course, Neasa Martin & Kathy McKee 11
    12. 12. Disclosure.  Understanding. ‘compassion fatigue’.  Knowing when to refer.  How’s your mental health?  What if we talked to clients directly about challenges?  Peer support.  the organization Cannexus Jan. 28th 2013 Charting the Course, Neasa Martin & Kathy McKee 12
    13. 13.  Mental the community Cannexus Jan. 28th 2013 health stream @ conference.  Discrimination.  What are services called and who provides them.  Lack of knowledge of what services exist.  Competition for funding. Charting the Course, Neasa Martin & Kathy McKee 13
    14. 14.  How the society do policies handcuff CPs from providing the best services.  Do we value differences.  Do we allow discrimination in the form of sub-par services. If change doesn’t occur with the individual it is difficult to make organizational, community or societal change. Cannexus Jan. 28th 2013 Charting the Course, Neasa Martin & Kathy McKee 14
    15. 15. Discussion….   What are your learning needs? Preferred approach?  Are there partnership opportunities?  Cannexus Jan. 28th 2013 How do our findings align with your experience? Recommendations? Charting the Course, Neasa Martin & Kathy McKee 15
    16. 16. http://chartingthecourse.nscda. Cannexus Jan. 28th 2013 Charting the Course, Neasa Martin & Kathy McKee 16

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