WHO IS YOUR CLIENT: A PATIENT OR A FUTURE EMPLOYEE?
Work is not just a way to bring food to the table. It provides a community to participate in, something to do during the day, an opportunity to learn, to develop one’s skills and to receive feedback. Work provides a sense that you are needed, an opportunity to influence and a possibility to build an acceptable identity in the society. A patient does not have this option. The patient’s task is to get rehabilitated so that they will be able to work someday.
What if the person in my office is not a patient but a future employee? The question arises: what would you like to do for a living? What are the requirements? If we start to break down the requirements of work into smaller and smaller parts, we will soon notice that we repeat exactly the same things that the rehabilitation aims for. At the same time, we are mapping resources and expertise. Aiming for working life brings hope and motivation into rehabilitation. After all, work ability is not even about an individual’s skills. It is about meeting requirements, about personal knowledge and skills as well as the suitable time and place. When abilities and interests matches the requirements of work, anyone is fit for work.
HUS Psychiatry has a heavy focus on the future. The Laakso Joint Hospital project challenges us to envision future care and rehabilitation. Are our current working methods up to date? The aim of rehabilitation should therefore be to find operating models that allow people the opportunity to find ways of coping in everyday life and be equal members of society despite their illnesses. At the moment, work activities and IPS job coaching are looking for their place as a part of psychiatric care. Their involvement in the care culture requires decision-makers to take a strong stance. However, one thing is clear: work is one of the biggest factors that support life management and integrates people into the society. Can we afford to leave employment solely the individual’s responsibility?
instructor and IPS employment specialist at HUS Psychiatry.