The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) is committed to helping individuals obtain and maintain employment, and access necessary benefits that can keep them well and more independent.
Not only does meaningful employment help pay the bills, it can also provide a person with a sense of pride and belonging. It offers opportunities to connect with others socially. Unfortunately, the current rate of employment among people with mental illness is very low despite research that strongly supports the critical impact that work plays in enhancing an individual's recovery. OhioMHAS supports technical assistance, consultation and training on employment to provider organizations and consumer-operated peer centers.
Cash and medical assistance benefits provide essential support for many people with serious mental illness who are unable to achieve competitive full-time employment. The Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Social Security Disability Income (SSDI), and Medicaid programs function under a complex set of regulations that can be difficult for people in need to navigate. OhioMHAS can help consumers, advocates and providers understand eligibility and rules so that people can access these benefits.
Community Recovery Initiatives
OhioMHAS and Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD) work daily in support of employment goals for individuals with disabilities – including people with a severe and persistent mental illness and/or co-occurring substance use disorders. OhioMHAS and OOD have partnered with multiple stakeholders to support employment access through the collaborative work of a Statewide Employment Committee. This committee was created to identify and remove employment barriers for individuals with severe and persistent mental illness and/or co-occurring substance use disorders who are served through the vocational rehabilitation system.
Subcommittees under the statewide group develop recommendations/products that will increase access to ongoing benefit planning, increase speed of access into the vocational rehabilitation system, and assist OOD in developing a culture that operates under the principles of Individual Placement and Support - Supported Employment (IPS). To learn more about IPS Supported Employment, visit http://www.centerforebp.case.edu/practices/se.
OhioMHAS provides leadership and supports strategies to improve access to these benefits for people with serious mental illness. It is important for consumers, provider organizations, and other entities that provide support to persons with serious mental illness, to understand and learn more about the following initiatives: