Strategies for Success

Going Back to School: Supportive Educational Services

Going back to school or getting a diploma can improve your chance of getting a job. It can also provide opportunities to do something meaningful, meet new people, and increase self-esteem.

Some people living with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder may not finish high school or college because their mental health symptoms interfered with their education.

The good news is that if going back to school is a goal, it's not too late and there are many opportunities available.

Think about what your educational goals and preferences are. Do you want to get a degree, take a class, or get training for specific job-related skills? Do you want to attend courses in a classroom or online?

Available Education Options Include:

Supportive Educational Services
There are programs in the mental health recovery community to help you enroll and succeed as a high school, college, or vocational student. Many schools have tutoring services available, and some even have support services for people with psychiatric conditions. A social worker, case manager, or advocacy organization can help point you toward these services.

Getting a High School Diploma
You may decide to go back to high school to complete your coursework and get your diploma. The General Education Development (GED) program is an option that will allow you to get a high school education and diploma if you are not interested or unable to go back to the classroom.

Going to College
There are opportunities for individuals who already graduated from high school but would like to take college courses and even pursue a college degree. Some colleges, especially community colleges, allow people to enroll as part-time students and take 1 to 2 courses a semester. This gives people the chance to build study skills slowly with less pressure than a full course load.

Training for a Specific Career
Vocational training is available for people who have a specific career in mind, such as a cook, plumber, or mechanic. There may be programs or schools in your area where you can enroll. Talk to your treatment team for guidance and support.

Print out and use the goal-setting worksheet to plan for an educational goal, or the Making Recovery Decisions worksheet to help figure out which programs or supports might be right for you.

What’s next?

Getting a Job