Peer Support Agencies around the state provide hope, education and ongoing support individuals with mental illness. Programs vary from region to region, depending on the needs and preferences of the members. Some regions offer transitional housing, crisis respite, computer skills training, trauma recovery groups, and one-on-one community outreach.
Stepping Stone, and The Stepping Stone Drop-In Center Association
Concord Peer Support (Lakes Region Consumer Advisory Board)
The Alternative Life Center (ALC)
On the Road to Wellness
Monadnock Area Peer Support Agency (formally Granite State Monarchs)
CornerBridge (Lakes Region Consumer Advisory Board)
Littleton Peer Support
On the Road to Wellness
HEARTS Peer Support Center of Greater Nashua Region 6
Pemi Valley Peer Support & Outreach (Lakes Region Consumer Advisory Board)
Connections Peer Support Center
Warmline: (800) 809-6262 (5 pm to 10 pm, 7 days per week)
Tri-City Consumers’ Action Co-operative
Most consumers with serious mental illness want to work and feel that work is an important goal in their recovery. When they identify work as a goal, consumers usually mean competitive employment, defined as community jobs that any person can apply for, in integrated settings and in regular contact with non-disabled workers, and that pay at least minimum wage. Consumers who are employed for a meaningful length of time demonstrate significant improvements in self-esteem and symptom management compared with clients who do not work.
Need help understanding if and how working will impact your benefits?
What is Supported Employment?
Supported employment is a way to move people from dependence on a service delivery system to independence via competitive employment. Recent studies indicate that the provision of on-going support services for people with severe disabilities significantly increases their rates for employment retention. Supported employment encourages people to work within their communities and encourages work, social interaction, and integration.
Has Your Loved One Expressed an Interest in Working?
Employment: A right and an expectation of citizenship
Working offers more than just getting a paycheck. It is the vehicle for developing skills, building relationships, achieving personal fulfillment and contributing to ones community.
People with disabilities express that they want a career not just a job. They want more education and training, more hours, higher wages, and they want their own home. People want enough money to do whatever they want….just like everyone else.
There are barriers to getting back to work that are common among families:
Someone not being ready at this time- Give them time to get well, when they are ready, be open to talking about their interests and ideas, this information will help you to guide them to work they will enjoy.
The concern over loss of benefits- People on disability will not immediately lose their benefits by returning to work. It is important to have all the facts so contact the experts who can help you and your loved one to plan. These include the Benefits Specialist at the Community Mental Health Center, Granite State Independent Living and your local Social Security office.
Needing assistance applying for work- There are programs available through Community Mental Health, Vocational Rehabilitation and Granite Pathways. See references below
Fearful that working will cause a relapse- This is a huge issue for families who have waited a considerable time for their loved one to move into recovery, we are fearful of anything that might jeopardize that. Ask your loved one to include you in a meeting with their mental health provider, to give you a chance to air your concerns and get professional input. Consider that for many people, working helps the recovery process.
Concerns that the type of employment offered will not be interesting or challenging- The benefits to working with an Employment Specialist or Clubhouse or Vocational Rehabilitation is that these professionals will be able to take your loved one’s interests and strengths and help them find work that connects to both.
Addressing the barriers can help us be successful at helping people who have been diagnosed with a mental illness become employed
Research shows that for many people with mental illness the opportunity to have a regular job is an important part of the recovery process and 70% of adults with a serious mental illness desire work.
Inquire at your local community mental health center if they have an employment program available. They might offer a program that assists people with mental illness who are interested in obtaining meaningful work.
Vocational Rehabilitation is another agency in the state that will work with your loved one to help determine their strengths and interests and assist them in finding employment or participating in a training program. Contact the administration office for your local office.
NH Vocational Rehabilitation
21 South Fruit Street Suite 20
Concord, NH 03301
(603) 271-3471 or 1-800-299-1647
Work as Part of Recovery
Granite State Independent Living (GSIL) GSIL is a statewide nonprofit, service, and advocacy organization that provides tools for living life on your terms – so you can navigate your own life and participate as fully as you choose in your community, just like everyone else. We have offices in Concord, Berlin, Keene, Littleton, Manchester, Nashua and Dover.
Concord – Main Office
21 Chenell Drive
Concord, NH 03301
800/826-3700 (Toll-free) (V/TTY)
Social Security Bond Project The Benefit Offset National Demonstration (BOND) is a new demonstration program created to help Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) beneficiaries return to work. Through the use of a benefit offset, we are testing a different way to treat SSDI beneficiaries’ work and earnings. This offset could help beneficiaries earn more and keep more of their benefits than currently possible. Contact www.bondssa.org Social Security Administration (SSA) Work Site
This site contains information about SSA’s Ticket-to-Work program. Under this program, SSA provides disability beneficiaries with a Ticket they may use to obtain the services and supports they need from organizations called Employment Networks. The Ticket-to-Work Program is an employment program specifically designed for people with disabilities who are interested in going to work.
Medicaid for Employed Adults with Disabilities (MEAD) allows individuals who qualify for Medicaid to be gainfully employed, save money, and still maintain needed Medicaid healthcare coverage through a sliding scale buy-in program. To learn more, please visit:www.dhhs.nh.gov/ombp/medicaid/mead.htm
Work Incentives Resource Center provides online access to information about work incentives and vocational counseling services. Please visit: www.nhwirc.org
For more information about New Hampshire’s strategic employment plan, please visit https://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dcbcs/bds/employment.htm