Tag Archives: employment

Recovery-Friendly Employment In America

recovery

Being a young man in addiction recovery means starting drug and alcohol use as a teen. Maintaining an unhealthy relationship with substances leaves little time for life skills proficiency. Meaning, the above demographic is often ill-equipped for the workforce at the onset of recovery.

A significant aspect of evidence-based addiction treatment is preparing clients for what comes next. Leading a life of abstinence is critical to recovery, but so is being a productive member of society. Achieving long-term sobriety is contingent upon prioritizing usefulness to society. With employment opportunity comes a sense of responsibility, to work and peers. Those who emphasize the importance of accountability are also far more likely to stay on track in their program. When it feels like you are of value to your coworkers, it increases your feeling of self-worth.

Many young men who enter treatment have never held down a job. Even those who manage to eke out a college degree can find themselves unprepared for the mortal coil of employment. Addiction treatment gives such people the opportunity to learn how to manage stress without resorting to drugs and alcohol. At PACE, we impress upon men that long-term recovery is more than not using alcohol or drugs, it's about living life.

Working In Recovery

In early sobriety, landing and holding down employment is paramount to successful outcomes. One of the most significant obstacles to progress is idle time. Individuals without purpose are far more likely to regress into selfishness and self-centeredness. Seeking a job (when healthy enough) gets people out of their head when life in recovery is still fresh. Rejoining the community is a rewarding experience and is a source of pride.

Finding methods of staying productive is critical. Those who are struggling to secure employment can still find healthy outlets through volunteering. After all, finding a stable job can prove challenging to some men with addictive pasts. One unfortunate byproduct of substance use is often a criminal record; a hindrance, yes, a job stopper, no!

Today, several American employers take a different stance when it comes to hiring people. They no longer see the value of flatly denying opportunities to people with a history of addiction. People in recovery are finding that lying on applications is no longer necessary to land jobs. The above reality is especially true in states with small hiring pools and heightened rates of use disorder.

Addiction Recovery-Friendly Employers

Hypertherm is a company making industrial cutting tools in New Hampshire. What makes Hypertherm unique, it is one of 70 "recovery-friendly" employers in the state, The Washington Post reports. What does recovery-friendly mean? It indicates a corporation is eroding the stigma of addiction and empowering people in sobriety. Such organizations achieve those ends by turning a blind eye to employment gaps and criminal records stemming from drug use.

Companies like Hypertherm, handle drug use and relapse the way other employers make exceptions for medical issues in the workplace, according to the article. Instead of terminating an employee whose substance use becomes active again, Hypertherm is supportive.

We’re here. We understand,” said Jenny Levy, Hypertherm’s vice president of people, community and environment. “If you’re seeking recovery, we’re here for you.”

Employers have an appreciation for the statistics of addiction and recovery in the U.S. Federal data makes clear that about 22 million Americans are in recovery. Refusing to hire people with substance use in their past can make it hard to fill positions. Hopefully, more companies will adopt Hypertherm's approach to recruiting and encourage personal progress. When hires don't have to disguise their mental illness they prosper, as does the company. We all benefit when Americans living with addiction are given a chance to be productive.

As a nation, we have a long way to go with encouraging more companies to look past substance use disorder. A 2017 study by the Recovery Research Institute at Massachusetts General Hospital indicates 9.2 percent of people in recovery are unemployed, involuntarily.

Addiction Treatment for Young Adults

At PACE Recovery Center, our priority is to equip men with the tools and skills to live healthy, happy, and balanced lives. Our licensed professional counselors and therapists help young men set goals and learn to manage their time and budget finances. The structured program at PACE provides young adults with the support necessary for acquiring employment.

We welcome adult males seeking long-term recovery to contact us to learn more about PACE. 800-526-1851

Mental Illness Sick Days

mental illness

If you get the flu, you would probably do what anyone would do, call in sick. After all, you wouldn't want to risk passing a bug on to your coworkers or work at less than 100 percent. Every day, millions of people call in sick to work for various illnesses, it is commonplace. But, there are some illnesses that people shy away from calling in, for fear of professional consequences. Mental illness.

Millions of Americans, and hundreds of millions around the globe are living with what are, at times, debilitating mental health disorders. Yet, waking up amid a depressive episode or an anxiety attack might not prompt someone to contact their workplace asking for a day off. There are a number of reasons for this, some people experiencing such problems may not think it warrants a sick-day. Others may think that they can muscle through the workday without a loss of productivity. Perhaps more common, and even more saddening, is the fact that many employers do not understand mental health disorders. Or employers believe that they are just cause for a day away from the office. They might say something like: “we all struggle with angst at times, we all get a little sad from time to time.”

Just pick your head up, and put your best foot forward, right? Wrong! People who manage their mental illness day-in-day-out can’t always stay ahead of the symptoms. There are going to be days when functioning is just not a reality. In such cases, most people will try to hide it at work rather than let on that they have a condition. And it should go without saying that doing that can be a slippery slope. People living with behavioral health conditions, who do not put their well-being first, are at risk of exacerbating their symptoms.

Mental Illness Is Real

In the 21st Century the verdict on mental health disorders like anxiety, depression, bipolar, et al. is no longer out. Mental illness is real, in every family there is at least one person who has been touched by such disorders. People living with mental health issues should not be discriminated against or stigmatized. But, they are. Even in more enlightened environs, the afflicted feel as though they need to hide what is going on underneath the surface. The result of years of conditioning, perhaps.

With each year that passes, more and more people living with mental health disorders are saying, ‘enough!’ They will no longer be shamed into putting their needs last. It is a brave move, and can be costly to one’s career, because most employers are not so enlightened. However, there are some workplaces who encourage those with mental illness to take time for themselves when it is needed. Perhaps a sign that the ‘times they are a-changin.' Not too long ago, few could’ve imagined calling in sick for mental health reasons, and returning to work on Monday with their job intact.

A recent email exchange between an employee and an employer regarding this subject went ‘viral’ (no pun intended) this month. A truly remarkable story of a CEO who understands the negative impact of mental health stigma. Madalyn Parker—an executive at Olark Live Chat—sent an email to her team at work explaining that she would be away from the office to focus on her mental health, PEOPLE reports. The response received from the company’s CEO was, well it was…up worthy!

Hey team, I’m taking today and tomorrow to focus on my mental health,” Parker wrote. “Hopefully I’ll be back next week refreshed and back to 100%.”
I just wanted to personally thank you for sending e-mails like this,” Olark CEO Ben Congleton wrote back. “Every time you do, I use it as a reminder of the importance of using sick days for mental health – I can’t believe this is not standard practice at all organizations. You are an example to us all, and help cut through the stigma so we can bring our whole selves to work.”

There Is No Place for Stigma

Parker posted the exchange on social media, and the Internet celebrated and commended Congleton and Parker’s exchange. And for good reason. This kind of thing is infinitesimally rare. Which is why we need more of this type of exchange in the workplace. Normalizing mental health disorders is of the utmost importance. It will not only increase productivity, it will save lives.

Even in the safest environment it is still uncommon to be direct with your coworkers about mental health issues,” Congleton wrote on Medium, a few days later. “I wanted to call this out and express gratitude for Madalyn’s bravery in helping us normalize mental health as a normal health issue.”

Parker added:

After repeatedly being told to keep my problems to myself for fear of discrimination, it’s good to know that it actually is possible to be open about mental health (even at work!)…You should never feel like you can’t address your emotional well-being because ‘it’s just not something you talk about at work.’”

Co-Occurring Recovery

Many of us working programs of addiction recovery are living with a dual diagnosis, as well. A co-occurring mental illness that, like the addiction, must be managed every day of the week. If one’s symptoms of depression or anxiety are ignored, it could lead to a relapse—or something worse. If you are in recovery for a co-occurring disorder, it is vital that you do not put your employment before your personal wellbeing. Fearing the consequences of being upfront about what you are going through is normal. But ignoring your condition for the sake of a day’s work can be deadly.

If you are still in the grips of addiction, battling another form of mental health disorder as well—please contact PACE Recovery Center to begin the lifesaving journey of addiction recovery.

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