Time for A Stable Future: Overcoming Employment Challenges with Support from CODAC

When faced with unexpected challenges, we can be pushed to the brink. For CODAC member Broderick B., unemployment, unmanaged anxiety and the looming threat of eviction were the hurdles that stood in the way of a stable future.

When his landlord threatened eviction after months of unpaid rent, it was urgent for Broderick to find a job.

He was already a member at CODAC, participating in a variety of support groups to maintain his recovery when he was referred to the Employment Support Team. Mitzi, a compassionate Employment Specialist at CODAC, took the time to understand Broderick’s strengths and challenges related to his anxiety. She worked with Broderick on updating his resume, practiced interviews and found him a job opportunity at a local clock shop.

“Mitzi gave me the confidence to get hired even though I was feeling mentally disabled and was, frankly, difficult to deal with due to the stress and urgency of my situation,” said Broderick.

“Working at a clock shop was my dream job… Mitzi helped me put together everything I needed to get the interview, land the job and keep my apartment,” he said.

Broderick’s employment journey wasn’t without its share of hurdles; the pandemic brought about heightened anxiety and uncertainty for so many. Through his treatment at CODAC, he has learned coping skills and started taking medication to help with anxiety.

“I learned to be aware of when things were getting too heavy for me,” he says, recalling a panic attack he had one day at work.  He called CODAC for support and the on-call counselor of the day offered coping tools, like tapping, that Broderick continues to use today.

Symptom management is one of the many tools members are coached on at CODAC. The integrated approach supports the social, physical, behavioral, relational and environmental factors that impact wellness.
In addition to gratitude towards CODAC, Broderick also credits the clock shop owners for their significant support and understanding of mental health. They allowed him time to step away and decompress when situations were stressful. This support was important to Broderick in managing his anxiety and maintaining his employment.

In February, Broderick transitioned into early retirement, leaving his customer service role at the shop but still working as a contractor. This type of work brings Broderick peace as he gets to fuel his passion for clocks and watches in the comfort and solitude of home.

Broderick offers this advice to others:
“Don’t feel so defeated or so prideful that seeking help to get work seems pointless.”

“Through the employment services at CODAC, I was able to get hired when I thought I was un-hireable. Having this job to go to helped my recovery more than I can say.”

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