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Supported Employment

Supported Employment services help people with serious mental health conditions enter and succeed in the competitive labor market. Person-centered services are provided by teams of employment, mental health and work incentives/benefits specialists. Through these services, individuals find and maintain employment of their choice, and advance toward career development goals. Recovery is strengthened as they move ahead in a career direction of their choice.

Supported Employment specialists use Individual Placement and Support (IPS), an evidence-based practice of Supported Employment services. It is often regarded as the employment service standard of care.

Working with Employers

Supported Employment specialists work one on one with community employers to understand workforce needs and respond with qualified job candidates who become available through the program. When an employment match is made, both the employer and employee are supported over time as needed. Supported Employment specialists also provide education on the benefits of diversity-inclusive workplaces and help employers get started. There is no cost to employers at any point.

Employment specialists head up the team of Supported Employment practitioners. They provide job development and placement services and long-term job coaching. They partner with local vocational rehabilitation counselors to provide a broad spectrum of employment expertise.

Peer specialists provide relational and practical supports, drawing on lessons learned from their own lived experience of a mental health challenge, sometimes including a substance use disorder or experience with the criminal justice system. They instill hope and serve as role models, reminding clients that recovery is real and employment success is possible.

Other team members include mental health clinicians who support the wellness needs of participants through individual and group-based therapy. Prescription services are also available. Work incentives and benefit planners help people keep their entitlement benefits, often including Medicaid, while still needed during employment. Case managers coordinate and facilitate each person’s overall program. All members of the Supported Employment team join together to provide the right person-centered wrap-around supports to help ensure individual success.