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My name is Susan. I have been diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder and Borderline Personality Disorder, which makes communication difficult. I also have difficulty trusting people. Through all the chaos and hospitalizations, I tried working at Discover Card. I didn’t have a job coach for this job and therefore, had a hard time with dealing with coworkers, supervisors and customers. I ended up taking quite a few leave of absences, which led to finally quitting. I thought I would never be able to work.
In late 2006, I was attending the Marc Center Village program and living in a residential program. The staff from both programs encouraged me to apply for a job at different places. At this time, I was trying to cope with attending classes for Veterinary Technician at Mesa Community College. Also, I was coping with my Dad and his terminal illness. However, I listened to the supports in my life and put applications at PetCo and CVS, with no results. Feeling discouraged, I went to Target to buy a gallon of milk. While there, I figured I would fill out the application. Within two hours, I left Target with a job offer and a gallon of milk. I was so excited but yet scared. Can I really work?
April 1st of 2007, I started working and found that Vocational Rehabilitation could provide me with a job coach. I was very hesitant because I didn’t know how a job coach could benefit me. I was quick in learning the routine of the sales floor, but was slow in communicating with my coworkers, supervisors and customers. I found out that the job coach would work with me by building my communication skills as well as teach me to cope with life issues without bringing it to work.
During the past seven years, I have lost both of my parents, which led me to not completing the Veterinary Technician program. However, I discovered that I really enjoyed the Animal Pharmacology class, and I began to create a new career goal. I would pursue a career as a pharmacy technician. Eighteen months ago, I started asking questions how I become trained in the pharmacy. The Pharmacy manager took me under her wing and helped me to get a trainee license. August of 2013, I got my certification as a pharmacy technician. I had studied on my own and passed in the top 10%. Now I begin a new journey — looking for a part time job as a pharmacy technician.
With my stability at Target and support system I am living in an apartment on my own with my two therapy cats. During my time at Target I utilized FMLA on numerous occasions and Short-Term Disability as needed to maintain my employment and housing with the help of Target and Rehabilitation supports.
During recent conversations with co-workers I was informed that I have grown with my communication skills and social skills at Target. I know that I would not be as successful on my own. I give much credit to the assistance of my support system. With the assistance of my supports: my job coach, case manager, socialization at Marc Villages, DBT, family and friends; I have maintained my employment and became a Certified Pharmacy Technician. I now have my resume in order and will soon apply for a Pharmacy Tech at a drug store or hospital.
I started at Marc Community Resources with the Paid Work Activity program in the workshop. I knew I wanted to go to work before I started at Marc Center but needed help to do it. I requested Safeway Training which I did, then shortly after that I went to Banner Bistro Food Service Training to learn all I could about dish-washing, bussing, food prep, line server, etc.
I learned to be patient and to have a good attitude at work. The skills I accomplished were: Dish-washing, sweeping, mopping, food prep, line server and bussing. After I seemed to feel comfortable with what I was doing in the training I was approached to work with a Job Developer so I could get help getting a job in the community.
I got help with job leads and filling out applications. I filled out an application for a dishwasher position at Holiday Inn in Phoenix. I struggle with spelling and my Job Developer helped me with that. I practiced interviewing with my Job Developer. I got the job, and started right away.
I discovered that the transportation was difficult because the bus did not run on Sundays at the times I needed to work my shift. Also I was struggling with excessive time off because of transportation and I also decided I could not work full time because I wanted to maintain my benefits.
My Job Coach spoke with my supervisor and smoothed the situation out so I could work part time and keep my job. My Job Coach spoke to me when I had issues at work and encouraged me to advocate for myself in some situations.
My relationship was difficult with my supervisor after I went from full time to part time so I asked my Job Coach to help me find another job closer to home. Within a couple months I was hired on at The Citadel Senior Living in Mesa and I am happy with my job now.
I get along well with the people I work with and I have no transportation issues. Along with the help I received from Marc Community Resources my kids were always there to lift my spirits.
Hello! My name is Diane and I am a Peer Support/Vocational Recovery Coach. So that you might know me better, I would like to tell you some of where I have been, and where I am at now. I’ve struggled with mental illness most of my life and it has taken me down some very dark paths.
I struggled to balance my mental and physical problems, while maintaining my career. After working in my career for 18 years, the struggle was more than my mental and physical state could endure. I had to take medical leave and file for disability.
I became paralyzed by my disability, my symptoms worsened, and I felt like I wasn’t able to do anything. In 2010, I started in a paid work activity in the snack shop at my clinic. Little did I know that this was the best thing for me. I took on some new responsibilities and had a new purpose in life.
I had to learn how to balance my mental and physical problems to function successfully. I got the chance to work with and help others, and in doing this, I helped myself. I wanted to be part of life again.
This walk wasn’t easy, there were days that my fear, pain, and anxiety wanted me to fail. Today I work as a Vocational Recovery Coach, utilizing my peer support skills. I have developed a sense of confidence and a new purpose in my life.
I still have to work on balancing my mental and physical symptoms with my everyday responsibilities. This is all a new challenge for me, a way to give back some of the support and encouragement that have been given to me. I am thankful every day for the people who continue to provide me support.
I want to be an example to others who might be lost in their own fears, whatever they may be, that employment is still a possibility in life. Today, I enjoy my employment and I enjoy my life. Not every day is easy, and there are no magic cures, but I am so much stronger in my recovery.
In 2010 I worked at the Partners in Recovery Snack Shop Training with Marc Community Resources to build my self-esteem and my stamina. I really enjoyed this training. It made me feel like I could really work again.
I spent six months in this training. I received help from my Job Developer with Marc Community Resources through Vocational Rehabilitation to write my resume and practice interviewing.
I applied to “The Hope Group”. In March of 2012 my Job with Hope Group was not giving me enough hours so my Job Coach assisted me in getting a job with Fry’s Food Store.
I was hired as a Deli Attendant in June and I have been working there ever since. This job is very close to my home and I have made some good friends at Fry’s. I worked also with a counselor to help me to work through my panic attacks that I felt while I was at work.
My Job Coach would lift me up when things were feeling overwhelming and assisted me through issues at work. One of the biggest things I have achieved with the help of my Job Coach is I can feel comfortable advocating for myself.