The STRIDE Employment Connections Program is designed to assist individuals living with mental health and/or addictions issues to find and maintain meaningful work. All our services are client based and individualized. You will be supported by our Employment Support Team which includes an Employment Specialist, and may also include a Pre-Employment Specialist and Job Developer. You will meet on a one-to-one basis with your Employment Specialist to develop an employment plan and job goal that will focus on your unique talents and needs.
You would complete a Referral Form
and an Additional Client Information Form
. You can also phone our central number at (905) 693-4252 and request the forms be mailed to you. You can then either email the completed forms to firstname.lastname@example.org
, fax them to 905-875-9262 or drop them off at one of our offices. Once we receive your referral forms you will be contacted within a few days to let you know about next steps.
The program offers standard job search and career assistance such as: career planning, assessments, resume development, cover letter development, interview preparation, job development, job placement and retention support. It also offers a high level of individualized counseling and support.
Our staff are trained and skilled at approaching local employers on your behalf. STRIDE’s Employment Specialists have extensive experience and are knowledgeable about mental health and addiction issues and understand how these issues can create barriers and affect your ability to find and maintain a job. STRIDE’s Employment Support Team will work with you to develop strategies that will reduce the impact these barriers may have on your ability to secure work.
You will be expected to be engaged in the process and to participate in your own job search. Showing up for meetings and returning phone calls will be essential. During regular meetings with your Employment Support Team members, follow up tasks will be determined based upon your current skills and abilities. If you are an ODSP client, you will need to provide verification of your employment each month.
This depends on where you are at in your employment preparedness. Some clients will spend time with our Pre-Employment Services, while others move into their job search right away. We are not a temp agency and you will not be placed in a job immediately. Some of our clients secure jobs and begin working within a few weeks of entering the program while others may take several months.
Meetings will take place at one of the STRIDE’s office located in Oakville, Milton and Georgetown. If you are not able to travel to one of our offices, we will make arrangements to meet with you somewhere close to your home, in your local community.
Your Employment Specialist and/or Job Developer will stay involved to provide you with support to increase the likelihood that you will be successful in your new position. How much support you receive at this point will be determined by you. At your request, and your employer’s approval, your Employment Specialist can also provide on-site job coaching.
No, you do not have to be approved by the ODSP- Employment Support program to be a participant in the Employment Connections program. However, there are advantages and benefits to being approved by the ODSP- Employment Support program, so your Employment Specialist will assess your eligibility for this program and will assist you to apply if appropriate.
No. To access STRIDE’s services, you do not need a letter from your doctor. However, to access the ODSP Employment Supports Program, you may be required to have your Health Care Provider complete a Verification of Disability Form. Your Employment Specialist will guide you through this process.
The key indicator that a client will be successful in this program is that they are motivated and ready to work. Staying in regular contact and communicating with your Employment Supports Team will be critical to your success. If you are ready and wanting to work let your Employment Specialist know.