The Supported Employment approach assumes that people with mental illness can work successfully in the open labour market given a suitable job and the right support. This means that the service delivered needs to be tailored to the individual’s specific needs and offer a broad range of strategies and supports. EDGE staff members are tenacious in their belief about people’s potential and ability to perform in work.Our commitment is to both parties of the employment relationship. The employer’s needs in regard to performance specifications are equally as important to ensure a meaningful and productive placement.
This means that consultants need to be professional and have a good understanding of businesses in order to negotiate appropriate matches for both the job seeker and employer. Our mental health focus means we are able to envisage and prepare for any impact illness may have on the normal demands of working and what if any accommodations need to be made to the workplace or job description to ensure optimum performance.

Our Mission

EDGE Employment provides excellent employment solutions through partnership and support for all who use our service.

A Brief History of Our Organisation

EDGE Employment, a service of Connect Supporting Recovery provides employment services to people with mental illness living in the North Harbour region. Connect SR (previously known as AMHS) is a community based organisation that was set up in 1991 primarily in response to lack of local services to assist people being discharged from psychiatric institutions back into the community.

Connect started with the aim of providing long-term accommodation for people who experience mental ill-health, and has since grown to provide a comprehensive range of support services which are intended to assist and facilitate recovery and community integration:

Just living in the community does not necessarily make one a part of the community.

The move to develop a supported employment programme was principally in response to the expressed need of service users. There was a large gap between existing sheltered work and day activity programmes and the goal of part-time or full-time work. People were not moving from these programmes into work in the mainstream labour market.

In 1993 AMHS employed a vocational support co-ordinator with a brief of researching and assessing employment and training opportunities on the North Shore for psychiatric consumers, and more importantly, assisting people who experience mental illness to a position where they may be able to take advantage of these opportunities.

A number of years on with many successes and learning opportunities under our belt the issue for us now is no longer whether this would work or who wants it but more how can we continue to do this better and do more of it. From auspicious beginnings of a part time vocational coordinator who hoped to place one or two clients in part-time work the service now boasts seven fulltime staff and a client base averaging 200 job seekers.