Peer Workforce Development

Our newly launched Peer Workforce Development Level Up Program prepares individuals living with a mental health condition for employment. Individuals will work with our Peer Workforce Development (PWFD) Team to determine their background in terms of education, skill sets, and other capabilities. The PWFD Team mentor will match individual participants to the employment area most suited to the participants’ goals, skills, and preferences. Mentors will help place individuals in community employment and continue to provide support to program participants after placement.

As a participant of our PWFD Level Up Program, you will receive guidance in the following areas:

  • Resume writing
  • Interviewing skills
  • Mock interviews
  • Job search
  • Soft skills
  • Peer support
  • Career Development Track

If you are an agency or organization interested in partnering with us, please contact our Resource & Support Program Coordinator, Shuchi Srivastava, at [email protected] or our Director of Peer Workforce Development, Eric Metcalf, at [email protected].


Level 1 – If you are unemployed and want to work, join us for a
1-hour weekly workshop to discuss workforce readiness. including resume-building tips, interviewing tips, principles of mental health
well-being, plus more.

Level 2 – If you are employed 0-90 days on the job and would like support sustaining your employment, join us for a 1-hour weekly workshop to discuss stress management, including knowing your resources, chain of command, principles of mental health well-being, plus more.

Level 3 – If you have 90 days or more on your job and would like support in sustaining your employment, join us for a bi-monthly workshop to discuss accessing and adjusting to work demands, mental compartmentalization techniques, and career development track.

Join us for an Introductory Meet & Greet

WHERE: Community Center
TIME: 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM


If you are unable to attend in person, a zoom link will be available to join remotely.

For more information and to sign up, please contact Shuchi Srivastava at [email protected].


Unlock Your Potential with Additional Workshops and Classes!


NAMI DuPage & Goodwill Workforce

NAMI DuPage has partnered with Goodwill Workforce to bring you Employment Workshops! We hope these workshops will provide specific insight into topics relating to the workforce.

When: 3rd Monday of the month
Time: 10:00 am – 11:30 am
Where: Zoom



Meets once a week for five weeks in person or via Zoom.

• Your Mental Health and the Job Search
• How to Determine a Good Job Fit
• Resume Tips
• Interviewing Tips and Skills
• Plus More!



Story #1

“In the past, I would be really nervous during job interviews, but I think the resume editing, mock interviews, and writing/editing interview question answers really helped me feel less anxious during the interview. I feel much more prepared now. I got past the first interview round, and then I sent a “thank you” email for the interview, and also mentioned some more of my projects. They responded and said I was the strongest candidate. So even if they don’t hire me, I still feel like I’ve made some progress with anxiety and interview skills because I at least got past the first interview round and got positive feedback, which is not something I’m used to.”

This program participant ended up getting the job!

Story #2

“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.”

After joining our Supported Employment program, this program participant was able to secure their first job in two years

Story #3

“One of our participants, *Bob (renamed for confidentiality), 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.”

Great work, *Bob!


Local Job & Apprenticeship Links

LinkedIn – Build a free profile and search for jobs

Naperville Library – Jobs & Careers Resources

College of DuPage –  Career Services

WorkNet DuPage – Job leads

People’s Resource Center – Career site with job announcements

Apprenticeship Illinois – Find apprenticeships in your area.

Interview Preparation Tools

JobScan – Optimize your resume.

16 Personalities – Free Personality Test

Social Security / Social Security Administration

Ticket To Work – Social Security Administration. You can still work even if you are on SSI or SSDI.

Social Security Administration Red Book 2020 – Summary guide to employment supports for people with disabilities under the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) & Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs

Social Security Administration – What’s New in 2022 – Overview of SSA updates for 2022

Reentry Employment

Illinois Department of Employment Security – Re-Entry Employment Service Program for those with a criminal record.

Class Materials