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A Working Life for People with Severe Mental Illness$
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Deborah R. Becker and Robert E. Drake

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780195131215

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195131215.001.0001

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Highly Trained Individuals and Work

Highly Trained Individuals and Work

(p.150) 13 Highly Trained Individuals and Work
A Working Life for People with Severe Mental Illness

Deborah R. Becker

Robert E. Drake

Oxford University Press

People who develop severe mental illness later in life may have advanced education and successful careers. The goal of returning to work for a highly trained individual has different challenges than for people who are starting entry-level jobs. This chapter includes an illustration of an individual who developed severe mental illness after working successfully as a professor and wanted to return to his career. The employment specialist and the rest of the team provide hope and encouragement for people to achieve their goals. The team makes recommendations about specific steps toward reaching the goal. While respect and dignity should be part of every encounter a client has with the employment specialist and other practitioners, the team needs to recognize and respond to the sense of loss in societal and economic status that many people who have had careers and advanced training experience.

Keywords:   careers, sense of loss, encouragement, support, creative job match, advanced education

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