Teamwork Is Important Ingredient in Employment Support

Person supported Travis Buie is at left and employment support specialist Mitchel Stewart is at right.

Person supported Travis Buie, left, has experienced on-the-job and personal success with the help of Employment Support Professional Mitchel Stewart, right, through Monarch’s Individual Placement and Support service.

Monarch Employment Support Professional Mitchel Stewart is Travis Buie’s most enthusiastic cheerleader. For the past three years they have worked as a team, combining forces as Buie overcame difficult life obstacles.

Today, Buie is proud that he has chosen healthy, sober living and continues to receive mental health services at Monarch’s Guilford Behavioral Health Outpatient clinic. He is experiencing success with his life choices and rediscovering support in renewed relationships with family and friends that were once severed because of a dependency on alcohol.

In December 2018, Stewart was paired with Buie through the Individual Placement and Support (IPS) services at Monarch’s Guilford Behavioral Health Outpatient clinic. Buie receives services for mental health diagnoses which include anxiety, alcohol dependence, traumatic stress disorder and borderline personality disorder.

As an employment support professional, Stewart helps individuals diagnosed with a mental illness find employment in line with their skills and creates a plan to fulfill life goals. Stewart has been a mentor to Buie offering guidance with time management, job coaching and life skills.

At times, Buie had difficulty accepting the helping hand that Stewart extended. Buie admits that in his mind he wanted to pursue sober living through recovery but had difficulty turning intent into action. He describes that time in his life as an “emotional roller coaster.”

Stewart stood firm: “I told myself I wasn’t going to give up. I will keep working with him. It wasn’t easy, I can say that. Now, our conversation has changed to his positive, healthy way of living.”

Buie agrees it was difficult to help him. “I was an everyday alcoholic. I was struggling with my mental and my physical health which included depression and suicidal ideations,” he confides, sharing that untreated mental illness and substance use disorder caused him to experience homelessness throughout his adult life.

The pair moved forward, identifying options for healing to overcoming obstacles that include mental health services and medication combined with providers who listen. “The therapist and psychiatrists at Monarch were not always a match, but I kept trying and found a match that has been working,” Buie stated.

Stewart is most proud of Buie’s successes that include living a sober life, being financially independent and thriving at his job as a habitation technician, a role similar to a certified nursing assistant who assists clients with daily needs such as developing good social skills, personal care and participation in recreational activities. “I am proud of you. You have done something not too many people do,” Stewart says to Buie about his sobriety and life successes he is experiencing. “He cares about himself first and foremost. He [Buie] came from what can I do to get him to stop drinking to how can I help and encourage him to stay on the right track.”

Buie calls Stewart’s presence in his life one of divine intervention. “He has become more than a mentor. He has become family . . . In each and every situation that I ever been through, he has had my back 100 percent. He never judged me and he always put what I needed above all else. He gives great advice and has helped me be successful,” he says gratefully.

Buie advises others with the desire to heal from a mental health diagnosis to be patient and give the therapeutic process time. “I have been through a lot of things emotionally, physically, financially and spiritually. But, it all comes together with good counseling and therapeutic sessions,” he promises. “It may not happen overnight but eventually the process will unravel something that’s good.”

For more information about IPS services, please call (866) 272-7826 or visit our Enhanced Services website page.

Posted on: Monday September 27, 2021