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AltaPointe Health's Supported Employment Program Empowers Individuals with Serious Mental Illness to Find Meaningful Work and Independence


Work has proven to be an essential part of recovery for people with serious mental illness. Since 1987, the AltaPointe Supported Employment program has been helping individuals enter or re-engage with the workforce through competitive employment.

MOBILE, Ala., Nov. 12, 2023 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — Supported employment for people living with a serious mental illness or co-occurring substance use disorder is a specialized approach to help individuals find and maintain meaningful employment. Supported Employment emphasizes that work is not the result of treatment and recovery but integral to both.

Competitive employment is integral to recovery and supports AltaPointe’s mission to promote wellness for the populations we serve.

From retail to food services to trade jobs, there are openings for consumers with varying degrees of education and skill. All jobs are competitive and not set aside for persons with disabilities. They are part-time or full-time and pay minimum wage or higher. It’s designed to provide personalized support and assistance to help the person overcome barriers to employment, reduce stigma, and improve their overall well-being.

Each person’s needs, preferences, and abilities are recognized and documented to create a customized employment plan. This individualized profile helps AltaPointe employment specialists work with the individual to identify job opportunities that match their skills, interests, and goals.

Once employed, individuals receive ongoing support, including coaching, counseling, and job accommodations, to help them succeed in their chosen roles.

This approach aims to reduce stigma related to mental health in the workplace, both among employers and coworkers. It focuses on helping individuals become fully integrated into the workforce and community, promoting a sense of belonging and purpose.

“AltaPointe’s Supported Employment program is a valuable service that recognizes the unique challenges individuals diagnosed with a serious mental illness face and strives to create inclusive and supportive work environments where they can thrive. It’s an important step in promoting mental health and reducing the disparities faced in the workplace,” Tuerk Schlesinger, AltaPointe Health CEO, shared. “Furthermore, competitive employment is integral to recovery and supports AltaPointe’s mission to promote wellness for the populations we serve.”

The argument that individuals with a serious mental illness should not or cannot work is empty, as many can and do work effectively. AltaPointe’s current agency-wide data shows that 19.77% of adult consumers with a serious mental illness (SMI) work in competitive jobs, with 12.97% working full-time and 6.80% working part-time.

For more information on the Supported Employment Program, please call (251) 450-4301 or visit https://altapointe.org/services/supported-employment/.

Media Contact

April Douglas, AltaPointe Health, 251-544-4639, [email protected], altapointe.org 

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