DMHAS: Employment Services

DMHAS Employment Services

Contact:  Linda Guillorn 860-418-6732, linda.guillorn@ct.gov

What’s Happening?

Employment Services

Employment Services are integral to the DMHAS’ goal of offering a recovery-oriented system of care for persons in recovery who experience behavioral health conditions.  One of the first significant steps to be taken in this direction is to ensure that all DMHAS consumers have both the necessary opportunities and supports to become involved in meaningful activities of their choice as well as to contribute to the broader community.  Individuals with behavioral health conditions consistently express their desire for employment.  From the recovery perspective, meaningful employment has been shown to promote recovery from psychiatric and addiction disorders and to facilitate improvements in diverse domains from symptom relief to successful community integration. 

Currently, DMHAS funds 34 agencies across Connecticut to provide a broad menu of employment and education services.  While employment strategies must be tailored to meet individual needs, agencies generally offer a range of services including career planning, job search assistance, job placement, on- and off-the-job coaching, and career advancement services.  Over 4000 persons per year are assisted in finding and keeping employment through the DMHAS system.

Activities

  • Mental Health Supported Employment Services: DMHAS continues to work closely with Dartmouth College to implement the SAMHSA-endorsed Evidence-based Supported Employment Practice (EBP) for persons with serious and persistent psychiatric disorders.  This includes embedding employment staff in clinical treatment teams to promote integration, where employment becomes “everyone’s business.”  Employment staff is responsible for helping people choose, find and keep “integrated competitive employment,” that is, jobs that are open for all to apply and pay competitive wages.  The EBP approach features non-exclusion from employment services based on diagnosis or symptomology, rapid job search for positions that match individual interests, strong relationship building with area employers, and customized follow-along supports on- and off-the-job for as long as needed (see link to Dartmouth Psychiatric Research Center (PRC).  Bi-annual fidelity reviews are conducted to measure provider adherence to the EBP principles and practices and train employment staff on the nuances of the EBP. DMHAS is an active participant in Dartmouth’s International Learning Collaborative, enabling provider staff to benefit from the best practices adopted by 13 other states.
  • Peer Employment Services: Peer staff at all DMHAS provider agencies have been trained in the person-centered planning approach that focuses beyond maintaining clinical stability toward meaningful community integration. Peer staff can assist individuals and treatment teams with employment planning and supports while serving as role models for recovery.
  • Bureau of Rehabilitation Services (BRS): DMHAS employment providers have teamed with their local BRS offices to develop a blended continuum of employment services and leverage the resources of both systems.  Staff from the two agencies have worked together to build collaborative protocols that insure stronger employment outcomes for shared consumers. BRS and DMHAS continue to promote greater understanding and stronger collaboration between the two agencies.
  • Family Advocacy for Employment: DMHAS is committed to increasing the active involvement of family members, significant others and family advocacy groups in employment planning. The Department is exploring ways to promote family support for persons who are seeking employment and education, tapping their knowledge to help focus the job search and garner work supports. DMHAS also envisions family members as being at the forefront at the state level in an advocacy effort for increased employment and education resources.
  • Recovery Oriented Employment Services:  Currently addiction employment services are available in three of the DMHAS five regions.  In the South Central region, both APT Foundation and the John J. Driscoll United Labor Agency assist people recovering from substance abuse issues reentering the workforce through vocational assessment and evaluation; work adjustment; vocational counseling; job development; and support groups.  The Recovery Oriented Employment Services (ROES) program, managed by Alcohol and Drug Recovery Centers (ADRC) in conjunction with the Connecticut Community for Addiction Recovery (CCAR) is operational in the North Central and Eastern regions of Connecticut.  The program provides employment services to individuals who are currently participating in substance abuse treatment and who desire to assess their readiness and options for employment or education.  Participants attend a weekly vocational education and support group which includes a seven module curriculum developed to address a variety of topics from resume writing to how to manage your paycheck.

Provider Tools

  • Individual Placement and Support finder (IPS finder) - locate an IPS supported employment program near you!
  • DMHAS’ Education & Training Division - offers classroom and web-based modules on a number of key employment-related topics.  Courses include evidence-based employment practices, curricula for finding and keeping jobs including “soft skills”, helping individuals with co-occurring disorders and criminal histories obtain employment; the role of case managers in supporting employment, best supervisory practices, collaboration strategies with the Department of Rehabilitation Services, and benefits.  In addition, extensive training is conducted regularly for consumer groups as well as staff at the lead mental health authorities, provider agencies and advocacy organizations.
  • Data System Revamping: DMHAS is revising its employment data system with new outcome indicators and reports - DDaP Training Manual
  • Employment Practices Improvement Collaborative (EPIC):  EPIC is a state-wide systems improvement project designed to assist people with visible and/or hidden disabilities obtain and retain employment.  In collaboration with Connect-Ability, DMHAS has launched on-line courses developed to provide individuals with barriers to employment, educators, employers, family members, providers and others free online training.  Click the link above and register for a free account.  Registered users will be able to enroll for a variety of courses and modules that deliver interactive, engaging and relevant learning experiences for people newly engaged with the world of work, and those who need support to re-enter the workforce or stay on the job.  Specific courses are offered for people who many have a criminal justice history, are currently in recovery, or experience other hidden or visible disabilities.  
Consumer/Family/Support Tools

Related Links

 




Content Last Modified on 10/10/2014 1:29:52 PM