Employment & Training
If you are in recovery from mental illness or addiction and considering entry or re-entry into the workforce, AMHS-KFLA’s Vocational Services can help you prepare for, find and keep a job. We will help you plan and move towards your employment goals. We provide specialized services for clients and employers to overcome the barriers individuals with mental illness and addictions face when finding and maintaining competitive employment.
Our team is made up of vocational rehabilitation specialists, job coaches, job developers, and business coordinators that offer professional expertise to assist you along any of the following paths:
- Career Assessment and Planning
- Job coaching and job skills development
- Supported employment and volunteering
- Job development, placement and retention
- Community Integration
- Education and Training Support
For more information about accessing the AMHS-KFLA employment and training services described below, please complete our self-referral form or call 613-544-1356 (Kingston & Frontenac) or 613-354-7521 (Lennox & Addington) weekdays 8:30am-4:30pm. For professionals making referrals on behalf of clients, please use our external-referral form or downloadable form. Drop-in Info Sessions are held regularly for those interested to learn more about our employment and training-related programs and services. View our calendar for details.
Our Vocational Program helps individuals with mental illness or addictions achieve their recovery and employment goals through a 3-stage process.
Intake and Assessment
Upon connecting to our services, you will work with a specialist to assess job readiness as well as barriers to accessing or sustaining employment. Our staff work with each individual to discover their strengths, motivations and obstacles regarding employment. We work in partnership with the Ontario Disability Support Program – Employment Supports to connect eligible clients with disability-related resources including transportation assistance, assistive devices, job coaching and training.
Vocational Rehabilitation and Job Development
The next phase of the program supports individuals through job readiness training, volunteer and in-house employment opportunities, and supported job development and placement. Our Ready, Set, Go program develops individuals’ motivation and soft skills (communication, social interaction, problem solving and managing emotions); after which, job placements in the community help individuals gain hands-on work experience in a supportive context. Our social enterprise, Friendship Enterprises, provides eligible clients with short-term food-service or custodial work in a supported setting within AMHS-KFLA. We also support individuals to reach their skill development and employment goals by facilitating appropriate volunteer opportunities in the community. Job Developers work to connect clients with suitable employment opportunities. Job Developers also support employers with their business and hiring needs, educating employers about relevant workplace legislation and how they can support and accommodate staff who have mental health disabilities.
As an individual grows into their new role, or when we are supporting an individual’s return to a former workplace following a mental health or addiction crisis, the focus shifts to support clients in maintaining their employment, and exploring education or job advancement opportunities for the future. Staff work to ensure that an individual’s job is appropriate for their interests, skills and abilities; and to establish a network of community support that can help sustain individuals’ long-term success. This can include job coaching, site visits, counseling and crisis support to help both clients and their employers benefit from secure and stable work. We partner with other community agencies and employers to ensure that individuals are adequately supported in their employment journey and have equitable access to work. As a result, clients enhance their personal, social and vocational capabilities while transitioning to live independently with the least amount of professional intervention possible. The length of time of this support is individualized. During each meeting, the level of support required is self-assessed and discussed with a Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist.
If you are recovering from a mental illness or addiction and your employment or career goals involve a return to school, AMHS-KFLA’s Vocational Services can help. Whether you are seeking literacy training, adult education to complete your highschool diploma, or a post-secondary college or university degree, our staff can support you through the process of education planning and navigating the systems of available funding, accommodations and supports for students with mental health disabilities.
Rise Asset Development is a registered Canadian charity and micro-finance organization that provides low interest small business loans, training, and mentorship to entrepreneurs with a history of mental health or addiction challenges. Rise recognizes the fundamental interdependency of financial well-being to one’s overall quality of life. Through entrepreneurship, Rise aims to improve the physical, psychological and financial health of people living with mental illness and addictions. Rise is committed to helping Canadians with a history of mental health or addiction challenges move beyond poverty. Rise has head offices in Toronto, as well regional offices including Kingston, where Rise works in collaboration with AMHS-KFLA to empower men and women facing mental health and addictions challenges to achieve their employment goals.
Information for Employers
If you are interested in hiring skilled, reliable staff in recovery from mental illness or addiction; need information to support a staff member that is in recovery from mental illness or addiction; or are seeking help for a staff member whose mental health or addiction problems seem to be escalating, AMHS-KFLA is here for you.
We can assist you to manage your hiring needs, connecting you with candidates who are motivated, reliable and available to start immediately. We continue to offer support after an employee is placed with your organization, providing job coaching as needed, and stepping in to resolve workplace tensions if they arise.
We also offer crisis services if an employer is having any concerns about an employee related to their mental health.
Get in touch! Call 613-544-1356 (Kingston & Frontenac) or 613-354-7521 (Lennox & Addington) weekdays 8:30am-4:30pm for more information.
“I want to thank Vocational Services for giving me my life back. Without the wonderful work they do, I wouldn’t be working; I wouldn’t be able to support my family; I wouldn’t have anything. When I first came to the program I was angry and frustrated that I couldn’t find work. It was a vicious cycle that killed my self-esteem. At first I was skeptical, until I realized their program really was life changing - it gave me the power to live my life again.”