SAMHSA: Resources for Peers and Providers to Build Employment Opportunities


Employment and the Path of Recovery

Are you a person in recovery who has considered pursuing a career or wants to get back into the job market? Have you experienced barriers in your job searches or felt desirable jobs are beyond your reach? Are you concerned that returning to work could impact public benefits you receive? Would you like to find a meaningful and fulfilling occupation, one that matches your skills and interests?

Are you an employer who wants to promote health and wellness within your company? Have you wondered how you can support and maintain positive attitudes within your work environment? Would you like to hire and retain people with lived experiences that you feel can add value to your workforce? Are you interested in learning about what other employers have done to achieve these goals?

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) ADS Center works to increase dialogue and support implementation and replication of socially inclusive practices, programs, and policies throughout the country. In this e-resource update, we highlight a range of resources available at the SAMHSA ADS Center Web site designed to assist individuals seeking fulfilling and steady employment, help companies be supportive of their employees in recovery, and assist companies in reaching out to all their employees regarding mental health and wellness. The following resources and programs are a few of many found on the SAMHSA ADS Center Web site,

  • Know your rights and your responsibilities. Look up Accommodation Information by Disability to understand how the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines disability, how particular disabilities are covered, what accommodations are required of employers, and ideas for implementing accommodations. Find this index under the Brochures, Fact Sheets, Guides and Toolkits page of the Employment section of our Web site at
  • Watch the archived teleconference The Role of Employment in Recovery and Social Inclusion: An Integrated Approach to learn about the important role employment plays in recovery, solutions to common barriers to employment, and current initiatives taking place to help support employment among people with mental health and substance use issues. You may access this archived teleconference at
  • Read the recent article How Mental Health May Be Impacting Your Career to learn about the various factors that affect people with mental health issues. The article discusses how the health care system, unemployment offices, and employers can improve their services and resources to better accommodate these capable individuals. Find this article and others on the Books, Articles, and Research page of the Employment section of our Web site at

Peers . . .

  • Gain insight and access valuable resources from the Peerlink National Technical Assistance Center. Learn about peer-run supports and services, including Project OPEN (Oregon Peer Employment Network), their peer employment specialist program; disclosing to your employer; and reasonable accommodations you may request. Find this resource organization and others at the Employment section of our Web site at
  • Check out Social Security’s Ticket to Work program, which supports career development for Social Security beneficiaries with disabilities to help them build a career, save money, and progress toward financial independence. You can visit the program Web site and others from our page at

Employers . . .

  • Visit the Employer Assistance and Resource Network for guidance on best practices for recruiting, hiring, supervising, retaining, and advancing individuals with disabilities within your company. Find this resource organization and others at the Employment section of our Web site at
  • Watch the archived teleconference Corporate Pioneers—Creating Cultures of Caring: Enhancing Health and Safety in the Workplace and the Larger Community to learn how three distinct, exemplary workplace initiatives in both private and public sector organizations have invested in emotional wellness and how this has led to benefits including enhanced corporate health, employee well-being, and employee retention. You may access this archived teleconference at

Share with us how employment has helped shape your recovery and inspire others on their journey by sharing your experience! Learn more about submitting your story to the My Story section of the SAMHSA ADS Center Web site at

To learn more about recovery and socially inclusive programs and practices, visit our Web site at

We invite you to share this update with others who may be interested and to encourage them to join the SAMHSA ADS Center listserv by visiting

Subscribe to the SAMHSA ADS Center listserv by visiting the SAMHSA ADS Center Web site or by calling an ADS Center representative at 800–540–0320.

SAMHSA Resource Center to Promote Acceptance, Dignity and Social Inclusion Associated with Mental Health