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Julie's Story

Julie Newton, Rockford, Illinois, was pleasantly surprised when she attended the ceremony for the Employees of the Year at St. Anne's where she works.  She was awarded the Employee of the Year award and was presented a plaque, a $100 check and a lovely necklace.  Her name will be added to a plaque at St. Anne's that lists all the Employees of the year at the nursing home.

Julie has been employed at Provena St. Anne Center ever since she became a part of the Individual Placement and Support (IPS) service at the Janet Wattles Mental Health Center.  The IPS program is an evidence-based practice that helps people with severe mental illness return to work.  Multiple research studies have shown IPS to be more effective in helping people with work than other types of employment programs.

Here are excerpts from the essay nominating Julie for this award.  "Julie has taken the lead in showing how to offer personalized resident/patient interaction."  "She is always willing to go above and beyond to work together with new employees...and she shares ways to encourage and motivate others with insight from challenges they've overcome."  "Julie is truly a sweet person.  Her interactions are always positive, friendly and her voice shows compassion."

Her mother made these comments after the award was presents.  "We're really proud of Julie and really thankful to NAMI, Stepping Stones and Janet Wattles for all they've done to help her become the wonderful young woman she is today.  She's come so far from those horrible days in high school when she wouldn't get out of bed and when she thought medicine was poison.  Treatment works."

For more information on Individual Placement and Support (IPS), please call the NAMI Illinois office at 800-346-4572 and they will direct your call to the right source to answer your questions.