There are particular circumstances that have made all of the eminently sensible advice above, rather more difficult than you'd imagine. Local employment opporutnities are are bit of a one horse affair and in order to accept the severance package that he was offered, he had to agree not to seek employment with any similar horses (!) anywhere, for a period of 12 months after the termination of his contract. 12 months of being out of only game in town (to mix my Spaghetti Western metaphors) is a long time and as we imagine they'd hoped, his contacts all moved on and out by the time he was allowed to try and find employment in his field. We had to take the severance package to survive. He has actually volunteered his services too, and believe it or not, had no interest whatsoever. This short term contract that has come about with my own employer is the first sniff of work he has had. I am very much hoping that between this and the college course, his state of mind might be improved enough that he'll start seeing positive possible outcomes where currently all he sees is obstacles.