It seems hard to believe, but here at Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota we’re already deep into the planning for this year’s Power of Work celebration, which will be held on Thursday, May 12.
It will be our 10th year of celebrating the Power of Work, but the idea has been around for many years.
In fact, in a hallway of our offices here in St. Paul there’s a poster hung that details “100 years of the Power of Work.” The poster actually lists dates going back as far as 1863, which was when Goodwill founder Edgar James Helms was born.
Work benefits lives in many ways. The power of work is a concept that recognizes that.
One of the benefits of work that is starting to be understood is the positive impact it has on an individual’s mental health.
Mental health is a subject familiar to us. Goodwill-Easter Seals started providing accessible, affordable mental health services in 2006, and opened our Working Well Mental Health Clinic in St. Paul in 2010. Since then we’ve worked to expand the services being offered, and opened a second Working Well Clinic in St. Cloud to increase the number of people we are able to serve.
The work each clinic has done to support the community is remarkable. A great example of their work is a program developed by the people at the Working Well Clinic in St. Paul to provide mental health services to refugees.
One of the approaches our clinics use is Individual Placement and Support (IPS), which sees work as part of someone’s recovery from mental illness. It has been shown to be three times more effective than other programs in helping people with mental illnesses find jobs.
The success of IPS is now being recognized by our state government. In late January the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) announced that they were awarding grants to expand IPS services to unserved and underserved areas of the state. Goodwill-Easter Seals will receive a portion of those funds to provide services in Olmstead and Fillmore counties.
Look for more updates soon on this year’s Power of Work event. Thank you for supporting our efforts to prepare people for work.