At Work/Au travail Nova Scotia

  • Deadline: October 31, 2020

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At Work/Au travail project

About the program

At Work/Au travail is a national collaboration delivered in 14 communities across Canada, including the communities that span from Halifax Regional Municipality to Digby County in Nova Scotia. Using a strengths-based approach, we connect people to meaningful employment supports, helping us to make Nova Scotia a diversified, equitable place for all people to work.

How it works

At Work/Au travail at CMHA Nova Scotia has a twofold approach:

  • Supporting unemployed and underemployed individuals living with a mental health or addictions issue that has affected their employability by connecting them, where appropriate, with mental health supports, housing supports, career counselling, training opportunities, job placement, and ongoing job coaching.
  • Working with community-based agencies to promote and refer individuals into the At Work/Au travail program, and engaging employers in need of skilled people to match clients based on their career goals.

Our approach: Individual Placement and Support

Supports through At Work/Au travail are based on the Individual Placement and Support (IPS) model, a recognized industry best practice for employment support of individuals experiencing mental illness. IPS includes eight core principles:

  • Competitive employment – Identifying career-oriented jobs that pay liveable wages
  • Systematic job development – Engaging employers, based on the client’s preferences, to understand their business needs and hiring preferences
  • Rapid job search – An approach to help job seekers obtain jobs rather than assessments, training and counselling, with the first face-to-face contact with an employer within 30 days
  • Integrated services – Supporting clients with mental health coaching and connections to additional services
  • Benefits planning – Helping clients obtain personalized, understandable, and accurate information about workplace benefits and government entitlements
  • Zero exclusion – People are not excluded based on readiness, diagnoses, symptoms, substance use history, psychiatric hospitalizations, homelessness, level of disability or legal system involvement
  • Time-unlimited supports – Individualized, face-to-face support continues at least monthly for as long as the client wants and needs
  • Worker preferences – Services are based on each client’s preferences and choices rather than employment specialist or supervisor judgments

Key features

For clients:

  • Available to anyone in need of work with a mental health or addictions issue (no diagnosis required)
  • Individuals can’t have received employment insurance benefits within five years of entering the program (extenuating circumstances can be reviewed)
  • Funding support for career training opportunities
  • Mental health supports: one-on-one peer support; resilience, self-control, self-esteem, self-autonomy coaching
  • Resume development and interview guidance
  • Rapid job placement offers opportunity to experience different work settings/industries
  • Temporary utilities and rent support to ensure stable housing, as needed

For community agencies and employers:

  • Referrals may come from family/child services, employment agencies, social service agencies, Nova Scotia Health Authority, justice services
  • Wage subsidies available to employers for up to four months
  • Availability of motivated, trained, skilled candidates
  • Ongoing case management fosters employer-employee relationship, ensures success
  • Rapid, internship-style job placement allows for no long-term obligation by employer

To learn more, contact:

Canadian Mental Health Association, Nova Scotia Division

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