NAPERVILLE – When a person is traveling the road to recovery from a severe mental illness, oftentimes stigma and a lack of understanding from others can put up roadblocks that can be difficult to navigate.
Trinity Services Individual Placement and Support Program works to help people successfully navigate those roadblocks by assisting them in obtaining and keeping employment.
After working with Trinity’s IPS Program for just six months, Jean acquired a job she loves with Aramark. She prepares and serves food at an elementary school near her home, ensuring that the students stay nourished, happy and healthy.
Jean needed some support gaining employment because of her mental illness. Through working with IPS Program Supervisor Katie Reyes, Jean learned skills such as how to cope with stress on the job, how to manage tasks and how to keep composure when something frustrating happens.
Jean has also learned to look at work itself as a coping mechanism for anything that might be stressful or upsetting in her personal life.
Since gaining employment in early May, Jean has built upon these skills and impressed her supervisors, earning their praise for the work she does, and for the joy she brings to her coworkers and the students she serves.
Jean lives in a group setting where she takes turns with her housemates preparing meals, cleaning and taking care of other housekeeping duties.
She works three hours each day, Monday to Friday, at the school, serving five lunch periods. Her favorite part of the job is getting to interact with the students and brighten their days through delicious meals.
In her free time, Jean volunteers with her church and attends community events. Jean said she intends to keep working with Aramark after her time with the IPS Program comes to a close, once she has successfully completed 90 days of employment. However, services will always be available to help her with coping skills and any other concerns she may have once she has completed the program.
For information about Trinity Services’ IPS Program, call 815-462-3652 or visit www.trinity-services.org.