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Employment First helps turn local man's life around

Posted at 4:42 PM, Nov 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-04 12:35:51-05

TULSA, Okla. — Finding a job isn't always an easy task, especially for people living with a mental illness.

Thomas Haynes is able to provide for himself thanks to the Oklahoma Mental Health Association.

Haynes says he was on Social Security for many years and he is happy he can finally provide for himself.

He survived a serious car crash back in 2007.

His doctors said he suffered a traumatic brain injury, which caused him to spend three months in the hospital.

Haynes says one of the biggest adjustments to his new life is the treatment he gets from strangers.

“When I tell people what happened they automatically look at me differently", Haynes says, "it’s like they don’t see anything but that injury.”

The Oklahoma Mental Health Association helped find Thomas a job through their Employment First program.

The program works closely with mental health teams and providers.

Providing services based on preferences rather than judgment.

Haynes says he doesn't know where he would be without a program like this.

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