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Meaningful employment can enhance a person's recovery
Employment among people with mental illness is very low despite research that strongly supports the critical impact that work plays in promoting recovery. The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) is committed to helping individuals find and keep jobs that help them become independent and productive. Toward this goal, OhioMHAS supports technical assistance, consultation and training to provider organizations and consumer-operated peer centers.
Employment Rule 5122-29-11

The OhioMHAS employment service rule promotes recovery through the implementation of evidence-based and best practices that allow individuals to obtain and maintain integrated, competitive, meaningful employment through training, ongoing individualized support, and skill development that honors client choice.

Integrated competitive employment is work in the competitive labor market that is performed on a full-time or part-time basis in an integrated setting and for which an individual is compensated at or above the minimum wage, but not less than the customary wage and level of benefits paid by the employer for the same or similar work performed by individuals without a disability in a setting found in the community in which consumers interact with individuals who do not have a disability (other than service providers).

The expected outcome for an employment service is that individuals will obtain and maintain an integrated competitive job of their choosing through rapid job placement, which will increase their self-sufficiency and further their recovery.

IPS Supported Employment

Individualized Placement and Support (IPS) Supported Employment is an evidence-based practice that helps people with severe and persistent mental illness and/or co-occurring substance use disorders identify, acquire and maintain integrated competitive employment in their communities. IPS is assertive about helping people find the work they want as soon as they express a desire to become employed. IPS increases employment in integrated competitive jobs, the number of hours worked, and the amount of income earned in competitive jobs. There are eight core principles that make the IPS model different from traditional vocational programs:

  1. Zero Exclusion
  2. Integrated Employment & Treatment
  3. Competitive Jobs
  4. Rapid Job-Search
  5. Systematic Job Development
  6. Time-Unlimited Support
  7. Consumer Preferences
  8. Benefits Planning

Qualified IPS Providers are comprehensive community behavioral health providers certified through OhioMHAS for employment/vocational services that provide meaningful competitive integrated employment, have onsite multidisciplinary teams, participate in ongoing training, consultation, and technical assistance from OhioMHAS, and maintain fidelity to the model as defined by the IPS Learning Center.

NAMI Family Advocacy Project

This collaboration between NAMI Ohio and the OhioMHAS engages families of individuals with mental illness to advocate for, create and expand high-quality Individual Placement and Support (IPS) programs. Family involvement can strengthen the partnerships between providers, family members and consumers around SE services. Contact NAMI Ohio at (614) 224-2700 voice; (614) 224-1498 TTY; 1-800-686-AMIO toll-free voice or visit online at

Supported Employment Family Advocacy Summit Toolkit
The Toolkit has been divided into three separate sections due to the large size of the file. They may take a while to download.

SAMHSA Supported Employment Grant

OhioMHAS was recently awarded the Transforming Lives through Supported Employment grant for $4.8 million dollars over 5 years. This will be a partnership between OhioMHAS, the state training, technical assistance and evaluation partners, and other state departments including Vocational Rehabilitation and two community behavioral health agencies: Firelands Counseling and Recovery Services and Daybreak, Inc. The mission of this project is to modernize, enhance, and increase availability and quality of IPS services to meet the needs of individuals with a severe and persistent mental illness or co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders.

The expected outcome is for Ohio to have the necessary infrastructure in place to maintain, expand, and sustain IPS throughout the state and to increase the number of individuals with a severe and persistent mental illness and co-occurring mental health and substance use disorder that obtain and retain integrated competitive employment of their choosing. In addition, Ohio will establish two robust Individualized Placement and Support Supported Employment programs within the state, secure sustainable funding, establish a permanent training program using in person and virtual platforms, collect and analyze program data in order to make necessary changes to improve service provision.

A minimum of 50 individuals will be enrolled and served in the first year and a total of 450 individuals will be served over the five year grant period. Additionally local and state staff will be trained in evidence based practices, and disseminate them statewide.  An expanded statewide infrastructure will promote adoption of these evidence based practices throughout Ohio, and adopt policies and strategies to sustain them over many years.

Ohio Supported Employment Team

OhioMHAS has community-based regional trainers who can assist providers and employers interested in implementing or improving supported employment programs. Our trainers are dedicated to offering technical assistance and becoming an asset to growing supported employment as a recovery support state wide. Contact the employment section,, if your organization could benefit from employment materials, technical assistance or a training consultation.