The Power of Engagement and Employment

Having a job, receiving a paycheck, and being able to support themselves can significantly improve the quality of life for people with mental illness. Meaningful employment is an important aspect of the treatment model originated by Colorado Recovery founder, Richard Warner. “Work is central to the development of self-esteem and in shaping the social role of the mentally ill person,” Dr. Warner wrote in The Environment of Schizophrenia

Finding suitable employment for clients thus becomes an important part of the treatment approach. “Patients can improve dramatically in a short period of time, even in an outpatient setting,” explained relocation counselor Dalma Farkas.

Colorado Recovery recently started admitting clients directly into the intensive outpatient program (IOP) and several of them quickly found employment appropriate for their condition and were able to enjoy new social connections as well.

“One client managed to transition from a stressful 12-hours-a-day job that made his condition worse to a much more appropriate employment,” said Farkas. “The IOP employment group put their heads together and found a much better job for that client who is doing much better now.”

People with mental illness can thrive in the work environment if the job is compatible with their condition. At Colorado Recovery they get all the help they need to find the right job, write a skillful application, and prepare for sometimes tough job interviews—in addition to individual and group therapy sessions.

Joining the Colorado Recovery IOP enabled several clients to find jobs quickly and thus strengthen their sense of belonging and purpose. The treatment program at Colorado Recovery aims to empower people with mental illness with an unrelenting optimism for recovery, purposeful involvement in the community, and an enhanced sense of meaning in life.

“Work helps people recover from schizophrenia,” wrote Dr. Warner in The Environment of Schizophrenia. “Productive activity is basic to a person’s sense of identity and worth.”

Having a steady income and engaging with people in the workplace and the wider community can have a strong therapeutic effect on people with a variety of mental illnesses. “One of our clients found a new job and was right away invited to a Halloween party by his new colleagues,” remembers Farkas. “He was pretty happy about that.”


Our treatment facility provides the services needed to address schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and other serious mental illnesses which are specific to each individual. Call us at 720-218-4068 to discuss treatment options for you or the person you would like to help.