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"Be Your Disruptive Self"

I don’t want to ever have to fold my wings to walk into doors, bow my head while in the room because of the low ceilings, or stop breathing because I might crack the walls

~ MHIA consultant, Chacku Mathai 

Who Are We

The Mental Health Identity and Adaptabilities lab conducts research on the pathways to decent work for individuals with mental health challenges. Our goal is to support the work lives of individuals and communities who experience interruptions in their career paths. We developed the Career Pathways Framework and the Career Advancement Inventory  for this purpose. You can learn more about these supports below. 

Decent work is a central concept in our Career Pathways Framework as an aspirational ideal of employment for individuals with mental health challenges. Decent work constitutes work conditions that provide respect, a living wage, access to healthcare, opportunities for growth, adequate work supports, belonging, and interpersonally safe working conditions (Duffy et al., 2016).  Individuals with mental health challenges have a right to decent work. We believe that employment programs and interventions need to focus on the attainment of decent work .

Our research focuses on understanding both psychological and environmental factors that contribute to the career success of individuals with mental health challenges. While learning to adapt to various circumstances is important, we also believe that building social environments that help people engage in meaningful work is necessary. 

How to use this site

This website is a guide for vocational counselors and those with mental health challenges looking to understand and support their employment. You can learn about the Career Pathways Framework and how it applies to your work life. You can also take the  Career Advancement Inventory to learn about where you are in your career path. We provide resources on how to improve your work capacity and make progress in your career.  

Download the  CAI Manual   for full information on the CAI and hard copies of the instrument. 

The Career Pathways Framework (CPF) is our model of career advancement towards decent work.

The MHIA Team

We are a group of researchers and professionals committed to improving the work lives of individuals with lived experience

The CAI is a survey that measures the progress of individuals with mental health challenges towards decent work. Take this survey to learn about your vocational service needs.

Career Pathways Framework

Career Advancement Inventory

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