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Family Peer Support-Employment Presentation Title Slide
Family Peer Support: How Families Can Foster Independence: Employment
April 17, 2021

In this presentation, Mid-America MHTTC specialists and partners with Omaha-based Community Alliance will demonstrate ways in which family peer support empowers families to support their loved one’s desire to work. In particular, participants will learn how recipients of family peer support:

  • Learn to engage their loved ones in conversations about employment and help them become motivated to work;
  • Learn to support their loved ones with job development and seek referral for vocational rehabilitation and supported employment;
  • Learn to help their loved ones thrive and find independence at work.




Jai SookramDr. Lilchandra Jai Sookram has been in the mental health field for over 40 years. At the Nebraska State Hospital, he provided psychological services to persons with serious mental illness and to their family members, and he directed clinical services including psychology, nursing, social work, therapeutic recreation, education and return-to-work programs. He is the former director of mental health services in Kansas and clinical director of a juvenile correctional facility. Currently he is manager of family and peer services at Community Alliance.

Bill BaerentzenBill Baerentzen, Ph.D., CRC, LMHP, is serious mental illness program director for the Mid-America MHTTC. Much of his outreach involves promoting evidence-based practices to help people with serious mental illness (SMI) live meaningful inclusive lives. Dr. Baerentzen has worked as director of a 250-bed emergency overnight shelter; supervisor of therapists in a treatment program for persons with co-occurring disorders; and as faculty in a rehabilitation counseling program.

Cecilia Losee HeadshotCecilia Losee is a financial planner who specializes in working with special needs families. Her own disability and that of her adult daughter give her a unique perspective into what it takes to plan for the future. With over 10 years in the industry she uses many different tools, such as special needs trusts, to ensure the protection of government benefits while maximizing the amount left to take care of your loved ones.



Learn more about Family Peer Support: An Emerging Workforce at