FAQ & Contact
Reclaiming Employment is a platform of self-employment resources, specifically for people who’ve experienced work-related challenges due to mental health. We offer flexible, self-paced courses, a library full of curated self-employment resources, and a community forum to support and encourage peers.
All our resources are designed to help prospective and current business-owners build practical skills, gain relevant knowledge, and participate in a supportive community. Get to know us!
Reclaiming Employment is run by Live & Learn, Inc, a social enterprise that performs research and consulting in the behavioral health field through partnerships with community organizations and universities. Reclaiming Employment is funded by a grant from NIDILRR.
The majority of Reclaiming Employment staff and consultants have personal experience with mental health challenges
Mental health problems and barriers at work — including psychiatric disability and burnout — are increasingly identified in mainstream business culture. The Department of Labor projects the rate of self-employment to increase, but entrepreneurs with socioeconomic and cultural disadvantages often face challenges such as persistent poverty, barriers to education, and social exclusion. Self-employment can be trauma-informed when it offers time and resources for self-care during the workday, including designing a workplace tailored to the owner’s individual needs. Respondents to our 2017 survey emphasized freedom/control, flexibility, and work-life balance, as well as financial self-sufficiency, as reasons for starting a business. Research shows that mainstream business supports are not always accessible to people with mental health related challenges at work.
Reclaiming Employment is created by and for people who have used mental health services, and our resources focus on the whole person, not just the logistics of starting or owning a business.
Possibly! Self-employment may not be the best fit for everyone, but we want you to know it is an option. Reclaiming Employment offers pathways based on our model of Five Stages of Self-Employment because self-employment is not a straight line. No matter where you are in your journey, our content can empower you to make choices for your business. If you’re exploring whether self-employment might work for you, we recommend checking out our Visioning and Planning course.
You can check out our current course offerings here. Right now, we are developing additional courses on Starting Business Questions, Networking, and Marketing.
Our courses (and the lessons within each course) can be taken in any order you want. We’ve designed them for maximum flexibility so you can jump straight to what is most relevant to you. If you’d like more guidance, here are some recommended pathways based on where you are in the self-employment journey. But remember, it is up to you
We recommend you start with the Visioning and Planning course, and then move onto Starting Business Questions. If you are a Social Security disability beneficiary, you might want to check out Self-Employment, Social Security Benefits, and Work Incentives. If you’re still not sure you want to start a business, Reclaim Your Time and Banish Burnout are courses that are useful for people in any kind of job.
We recommend you check out Reclaim Your Time or Working Together.
Reclaiming Employment is building a directory of “peer-run” small businesses in the U.S. You do not need to have a formal business structure and both incorporated and non-incorporated businesses (i.e. sole proprietor/independent contractor) are included in this directory. However, nonprofit organizations are not, unless they are operating as a commercial nonprofit that sells products or services to generate revenue.
A form will be available soon to show your interest in joining our business directory
Once the directory is available you will be able to email us at email@example.com with your update or request to remove your business, and we will take care of it within 72 hours.