Bipolar disorder affects approximately 5.7 million adult Americans, or about 2.6% of the U.S. population age 18 and older every year, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Many people with bipolar disorder struggle to retain jobs and it can be difficult for them to find work they enjoy.
Cecilia “Cecy” Marquez is one such individual, diagnosed with bipolar disorder as an adult. The late diagnosis and lack of a support system contributed to an unstable employment track record, low self-esteem and an overpowering feeling of unproductiveness. In 2010, Cecy’s disability was exacerbated due to a tragic car accident that resulted in PTSD.
Lack of accommodations at work and immense anxiety hindered Cecy’s employment tenures. Before joining PRIDE’s Fort Bliss contract site in Texas, she hid her disability, not disclosing it to employers or co-workers. When daily stressors would become too much to cope with at her current job, she would resign.
Helping People with Bipolar to Find Jobs
PRIDE Industries offers a wide range of employment services to people with bipolar and other disabilities. Programs include job placement, internship opportunities, and on-the-job training and support. When Cecy discovered PRIDE Industries and received job assistance, she discovered an inclusive and welcoming environment where she felt at home.
In January 2016, Cecy was hired as a Service Order Dispatcher with PRIDE Industries. She learned quickly, assimilating to the team and overcoming roadblocks while providing excellent customer service. Her managers and counselor continuously provide resources to help her experience success every day on the job.
“Cecy enjoys taking calls and receives them with a smile,” Corina E Huerta-Coronado, Cecy’s Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor at PRIDE, says. “She believes that smiles carry through the phone lines and provides great service to the soldiers, techs and other personnel.”
Continued Success on the Job
Life is much different now for Cecy; she is gainfully employed, has a wonderful support system both at home and at work, and feels proud to be contributing to the community and soldiers at Fort Bliss.
Having a job is about more than a paycheck; it improves confidence, self-esteem, creates greater self-sufficiency and aids in building a rewarding life. For Cecy, her job has contributed to a once in a lifetime experience. “Because I am employed, I had the privilege of traveling on a pilgrimage to Rome and the Holy Land – Israel, last fall,” Cecy shared.