Employment Services Orientation

Sara Riel Inc. Overview

Sara Riel is a non- profit organization that provides services and supports to people living with mental health concerns to assist them in finding competitive, satisfying employment and help them live independently in the community. This is achieved by providing supports through four separate divisions: Community, Housing/Tenancy, Kenny Street Supportive Living and Employment. The goal of the employment division is to help people prepare for, choose, get and keep competitive and satisfying work. We work closely with the other divisions in our organization, as well as employers in the community to provide the best holistic, evidence based and client centred supports possible. All our services are voluntary and free of charge.

Parameters for Admission

In order to access our services, an individual fills out an application form that can be; printed off our website, mailed to them, picked up from head office, or done with our intake coordinator at our head office. We also offer orientations that explain all Sara Riel services bi-weekly that clients or external supports can attend before, during or after they fill out an application. All applications are then returned to our intake coordinator, which are then reviewed. Clients must meet the following criteria for admittance:

  1. Must be 18 years of age or older
  2. Have a clinically diagnosed mental health concern or a self-declared (employment only) mental health concern which affects their ability to obtain or maintain employment
  3. Willing to actively participate and engaged in all aspects of our services and attend appointments as necessary.

Clients receiving our services can be unemployed, underemployed or receiving social assistance. Their current employment situation will determine which of our three government regulated purchase service agreements they are classified under, however, this does not affect their access to any of our employment services. The only difference is the duration of service, which is a minimum of 1 year and can go as long as 2 years depending on the complexity of the individual's situation, and the severity and prevalence of their mental health concern. A chart has been attached to explain the 3 contracts expectations.

All services are offered in English or French as we are a designated bi-lingual organization

Services Offered By the Employment Division

Our employment division delivers our supports through multiple sources that clients can use to achieve their goals of preparing for, choosing, getting and keeping employment.

The services we offer include:

  1. Month long Vocational Skill building classes that help people prepare for, choose, get and keep employment. These classes run 3 hours a day 5 days a week excluding holidays.
  2. One to one computer training classes to build computer skills.
  3. One on one sessions with an Employment Specialist to identify personal/ professional barriers to employment and provide counseling and vocational planning
  4. Career counselor services to develop a career path or access education/training resources are provided by Employment Specialists and Mental Health Employment Counselors
  5. Supported job search/facilitation services to assist in finding a job and networking
  6. Job retention services once employment is achieved to deal with any issues that may arise to help maintain their employment. This is an additional year of service once employment is secured.
  7. Weekly "open" job search where clients can use our computers and work on their resumes with the assistance of staff.
  8. EIA benefits counseling to assist clients to understand the transition to work process and the effects on their benefits

The workshops and open job search are accessible to clients even if they have not been assigned a worker so they can become engaged while they are on our waitlist.

Participants have the option to access all these services upon their request, but they are not mandatory. The vocational workshops are highly recommended as a starting point as they provide training, information and essential skill building to get people ready to enter or re-enter the work force. Staffs also use the workshops to assess client's skills and abilities regarding social and vocational skills. Even if a participant is taking the workshops they can still access the services of an Employment Specialist, Intensive Case Manager, Employment Facilitator or Career Counsellor.

Roles of Staff and Participants

The roles of the staff vary depending on the services the participant chooses to use. Although staff may perform tasks specific to their role, all staff are expected to: establish a relationship, assess a client's current mental health/ employment situation, create an individualized employment plan, orient clients to our services, and provide on-going employment and counseling supports. They will be in contact with clients external supports and services (given consent) to provide the best supports possible to insure their goals are being met, and to make adjustments to their employment plan as necessary.

The expectation for clients is the same for all services: to be actively engaged in the planning, creation and participation of their employment goals and processes. Clients are required to attend appointments as scheduled and inform staff of any changes that may affect theses plans and processes. Sara Riel is a voluntary organization and can not force clients to participate, but will work diligently to keep clients engaged and motivated. Communication and coordination of plans and expectations with clients, staff and external supports is welcomed and encouraged.

Staff Positions

Employment Specialists

Employment Specialists work one-on-one with clients in all aspects of their employment process. Employment Specialists are with a client from their initial assessment and planning; through to providing employment retention supports and counseling once employment is achieved. They are responsible for assessing work readiness, identifying barriers to employment, creating an individualized employment plan with the client, facilitating job search, assisting with building resumes and interview skills, teaching classes, providing job retention supports, case management, helping identify career options, and providing on-going support for personal or professional issues which arise that could affect employment. Employment Specialists also make referrals to external agencies or provide advocacy to access other services we may not provide.

Mental Health Employment Counselors (MHEC)

The Mental Heath Employment Counselors provide case management, one to one counseling sessions, on-going assessments of client's mental health, and consults with other mental health professionals such as psychiatrists, psychologists or clinicians around issues regarding a participant's mental health. The MHEC's main focus is to provide counseling to individuals living with severe and persistent mental health issues to aid in their recovery and help them enter the workforce or access training. The MHEC primarily deals with clients who have a multitude of personal mental health concerns that require more intensive and thorough counseling supports. They can provide supports for up to 2 years for their clients.

Discharge and Transfer from Services

Discharge from the program occurs when:

  1. A client formally requests to end services for personal reasons or all goals have been achieved
  2. Their service time is completed. *
  3. Failure to contact staff for 30 days or failure to attend multiple appointments with no explanation.
  4. It is determined that our services are not suitable for a client and a successful transition has occurred
  5. Client is hospitalized long term, exhibits aggressive behaviors or refuses to engage in their portion of their employment plan

*There is an option to "carry over" clients for an additional year if they have not met their employment goals but are actively engaged and making progress

A no contact letter will be mailed to clients if no contact has been made within 30 days. The letter will indicate dates in which the client is required to reply between and if no reply is received the clients file will be closed. Clients can always reapply if needed and can be rapidly re-enrolled if they have received services within the past year.

If a client's service time has expired and it is determined the client still requires counseling supports a referral to our community services will be initiated. Clients can receive services from any of Sara Riel Inc. departments simultaneously.