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Thresholds seeks businesses to host interns

Posted  4 years ago  in  Guest Blog  by  Thresholds Youth & Young Adult Services

3 MIN READ - Want to give back to the community, make a significant impact on a young person’s life, and fight stigma against mental illness? In this guest blog, we at Thresholds explain how your business can host a young adult intern with the support of an internationally recognized mental health provider. We are seeking internship sites for young people with mental health needs to learn entry level job skills, build confidence, and start their careers.

Did you know that mental health conditions negatively impact engagement in employment? Most mental health conditions emerge during adolescence and young adulthood and significantly disrupt education and employment engagement. Research shows that four years post-high school, only 42% of youth with serious mental health conditions are employed; eight years post-high school, only 49% are employed. These young people often focus heavily on completing high school coursework, delaying employment until after graduation.

Transitioning into entry level employment is challenging because they haven’t had critical pre-vocational experiences or developed necessary soft skills for employment success. Failed attempts at employment erode these vulnerable young people’s confidence and self-esteem. Along with this, cognitive, functional, and social impairments related to their conditions impede their capacity to learn and adapt to workplace norms and cultures, leaving them feeling lonely, misunderstood, and unsupported.

Most fear disclosing their disability, finding it difficult to find and keep a job due to stigmatizing workplace attitudes: employers and co-workers avoid them, and they feel incapable of performing job tasks. Internalized stigma creates a “why try” effect (“why I should try, I’ll just fail”) that prevents these vulnerable young people from finding and keeping jobs.

There are opportunities for you to get involved and provide positive vocational experiences for young people with serious mental health needs!

Thresholds is seeking internship sites for young adults with mental health needs. Thresholds, the largest community mental health provider in Illinois, is internationally recognized for its innovative, empirically-supported employment services and nationally recognized Youth & Young Adult Services. We are recruiting employers to serve as internship sites as part of CORE (Career & Occupational Readiness Program), a federally-funded service research project.  CORE is a 15-week program designed for young people living with mental health challenges who are struggling to enter the working world. Through CORE, young people learn job skills, build confidence, and start their careers. CORE consists of two phases: (1) three weeks of virtual and in-person workshops, and (2) a paid 12-week internship with intensive CORE team support.

We need your help! Are you an employer who could use extra free help right now? Thresholds is searching for internship sites across the city of Chicago for young people to learn and succeed at no cost to you. This is a great opportunity for your business to give back to the community and help a young person start their career. We recruit sites across all industries and match sites with interns based on intern career aspirations and employer needs. Internships can range from 8-12 weeks for 10-15 hours per week. Thresholds pays the interns for their time bi-weekly and provides intensive support during the internships. The support is tailored to what employers and the young person need to support intern success.

Not sure about hosting a CORE intern? Reach out to us! We are looking for employers who are interested in mentoring, coaching and providing interns with an experience that is akin to a job. We are great at figuring out ways to carve out intern responsibilities at all types of workplaces. So, even if you don’t know where or how an intern would benefit you or your employer, contact us! Together, we can develop an internship position to ensure that you and the intern have positive experiences.

And there are even more benefits of hosting a CORE Intern. Because we are an internationally recognized mental health agency, we are glad to provide you and your team/employer with training in mental health awareness, stress and self-care on-the-job, and diversity and cultural responsiveness. Partnering with Thresholds is an opportunity to give back to the community, make a significant impact on a young person’s life, and fight stigma against mental illness.

Deadline to get involved

We plan to start these internships by August 15. Please reach out to the CORE Coordinator Janet Napoli-Worley for more information on how to get involved!

(217) 649-8223

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