Supported Employment

Every Mind is a Star…

And deserves the right to SHINE!

The NAMI DuPage Supported Employment Program, known as Rise & Shine, provides the necessary tools, skills, confidence building, and support that individuals living with mental illness need to obtain employment that aids in their recovery.

Since 2017, we have worked with over 100 people to gain permanent, meaningful employment!

Supported Employment Job Club

Every 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month

Class will be held via Zoom from 7pm-9:30pm

Each class will focus on different aspects of the job hunting process.

  • Resume Writing
  • Soft Skills/Facing the Public
  • Interviewing Techniques
  • Excel
  • Guest Speakers
  • And More!

Keep an eye out for our upcoming classes!

Register HERE

Watch for new classes coming in January!

Employment Program Description

Our Supported Employment Program will prepare individuals with a mental illness for employment. Individuals will work with our Volunteer Job Coaches to determine their background in terms of education, skill sets, and other capabilities. The Job Coach, working with DuPage County employers will match individual participants to the employment area most suited to the participants’ goals, skills, and preferences. Job Coaches will help place individuals in community employment and continue to provide support to program participants after placement.

NAMI DuPage plans to provide the opportunity for individuals to gain experience in the following employment areas:

  • Office Services
  • Print Shop
  • Hospitality/Coffee Shop (Currently Closed)

Impact on Participants

  • Help people recover their lives
  • Early steps to increased recovery
  • Engagement in the community
  • Increases engagement of treatment
  • Enhanced social inclusion
  • Increased self-esteem
  • Enhanced income

Impact on Community

  • Reduction of homelessness
  • Reduction of hospital visits
  • Potential to save millions in disability & public assistance
  • Remove their dependence on the mental health system

Success Stories

This is what a participant (class, job search support, and cafe volunteer) in NAMI DuPage’s Supported Employment Programs had to say about the program. Through courage and support, they were able to obtain their first job in 2 years.

“For as long as I can remember, I have struggled with anxiety.  When I was in my early 20’s I also started to experience symptoms of psychosis.  The combination of these two diseases was frightening and put me in a vulnerable position that I had never been in before. Not only was I scared, but I also felt alone. I immediately started taking medication and began seeking treatment.

One of the many different ways I have helped myself is by volunteering at the NAMI Rise & Shine Cafe.  I am very thankful that this program was brought to my attention, as I  instantly felt at home joining the cafe.  The cafe not only has provided me with stability similar to having a job, but it has given me the chance to meet people who struggle with things similar to what I struggle with. Those, perhaps, have been the two most important things to my recovery. Now, instead of feeling sad or upset because of my situation, I feel fortunate.

I am happy to have gained the knowledge and experience of volunteering at the café.”


Showed up at the community center and would not even look me in the eye when we first met. I later learned – in his words:

“For quite some time I wasn’t even able to leave my house. I was afraid of everything. I still can’t drive and need to take meds when I go out for extended periods.”

He started volunteering at the cafe almost daily and quickly gained confidence. After 4 months, he was able to have the courage to go to a job interview and secured a full-time job with Thornton’s Gas & Convenience.

For more information or to partner with us please contact:
Cindy Kaczmarczyk at (630) 752-0066 x 225