Supported Employment is an evidence-based program designed to help individuals with intellectual disabilities, mental health needs, and traumatic brain injury identify and acquire part-time or full time jobs of their choice in the community with rapid-search and placement services. This approach emphasizes that work is not the result of treatment or recovery, but integral to both.
Supported Employment uses the Integrated Employment and Treatment Approach which is combined with mental health services. Case managers work closely with other professionals to help clients achieve their employment goals. Team members discuss and find solutions for issues that may affect work and recovery such as: medication side effects, persistent symptoms, cognitive difficulties, and other rehabilitation needs (e.g., social skills, transportation, childcare).
Why is work important?
- Having your own job encourages independence and responsibility
- Improves confidence and social skills
- Gives you a specific goal and plan for each day
- Promotes financial independence
- Encourages routine and structure in daily life
- Opens up future opportunities for advancement
All people who want to work are eligible for employment services and can receive help even if they:
- Have experienced job loss(es) in the past
- Lose a job(s) while enrolled in the program
- Are still experiencing symptoms of mental illness
- Experience cognitive impairments (e.g. memory, problem-solving difficulties)
- Are still using alcohol or other drugs (however the use of alcohol and other drugs may limit job choices because many employers test for drug use. If job applicants can pass a drug test, their choices of jobs typically increase).
- Have a criminal history
- Do not know how to fill out an application or talk to employers
- Do not have previous job training or work experience
- Are afraid they might not learn from the job fast enough
- Are afraid they might not fit in with others
Source: "Core Principles-An Integrated Approach", Ohio Mental Health & Addiction Services