For individuals in recovery from mental or substance use disorders, employment is often an essential part of the recovery process. Employment increases a person’s self-worth, stabilizes living circumstances, and facilitates integration with the community. Being unemployed is associated with increased rates of mental disorders and with higher rates of substance use disorders and relapse.
In the current job market, employment challenges for people in recovery are greater than ever. Ready, Willing, and Able To Work: Employment for People in Recovery explores a range of topics related to meeting those challenges, including skills training, career building, having a “recovery job” that bridges the gap between unemployment and full employment, volunteerism as a pathway to employment, and starting a business. The show will examine the barriers and challenges faced by some people in recovery—those without a high school or college degree, those with a criminal history, and those who have been out of the workforce for a long time. Innovative approaches to addressing employment issues will be highlighted: recovery entrepreneurship programs, employers who target hiring individuals in recovery, and recovery community organizations that help with skills training and job placement.