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FY20 IPS Onepager (July 17, 2020)

Download PDF document at this link.

This document published by TDMHSAS showcases the difference that employment, specifically IPS, makes for people living with serious mental illness.  It also includes information on persons served in state fiscal year 2020 and Tennessee counties where IPS is available.

The Landscape with Naveh Eldar - Interview with Debbie Becker from the IPS Employment Center (March 29, 2020)

Listen to the podcast at this link

Deborah (Debbie) R. Becker, MEd, CRC - Senior Research Associate with Individual Placement and Support speaks about the gold-standard, evidence based method of supported employment for individuals with serious mental illness, which brought hard research into the supported employment world. Debbie speaks about early research, key parts of the method, and the international IPS learning community, which includes 24 states and six countries/regions outside of the United States. 

Naveh Eldar has worked in the field of disability services for over 20 years and is considered a subject matter expert in the area of supported employment. He has supported individuals with severe psychiatric disabilities as the Director of Supported Employment with a Nashville based non-profit organization, and as a Tennessee statewide trainer of the Individual Placement and Support method of supported employment. In his current role with BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, Naveh supports providers across the state through the Employment and Community First CHOICES Medicaid program which supports individuals with intellectual and development disabilities.

TennesseeWorks Blog: Individual Placement and Support Helps Those with Mental Illness Get, Keep Jobs (February 13, 2020)

Generally, when we think about employment of people with disabilities, we think about people with physical disabilities or those who are blind or deaf. Working at the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center, much of our work is focused on people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. One group, however, is too often left out of the conversation. That group is people with mental illness.

The Governor’s Employment First Task Force continues to try to improve the employment landscape in Tennessee for people with disabilities, and that includes people with mental illness. As a part of that task force, I get to work with Mark Liverman, director of Wellness and Employment for the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. I asked Mark to discuss some of the issues and options for those with mental illness who are interested in getting and keeping a job. Mark was kind enough to answer my questions.

Question: Why is it important to address employment for people with mental illness?

Answer: Work is the best treatment we have for serious mental illness (i.e., people with schizophrenia spectrum disorder, bipolar, or depression). Two-thirds of people with serious mental illness want to work but only 15% are employed. They see work as an essential part of recovery. Being productive is a basic human need. Working can both be a way out of poverty and prevent entry into the disability system, such as Social Security Disability Income. Competitive employment has a positive impact on self-esteem, life satisfaction, and reducing symptoms, according to a 2014 study by Luciano, Bond, and Drake. The number of studies showing the effectiveness of Individual Placement and Support continues to grow. Individual Placement and Support is an employment service that helps more people with mental illness obtain employment than any other type of vocational program.

Read the full blog post at this link

News Release: TDMHSAS Continues State Leadership In Expanding Employment Opportunities For People With Disabilities (December 20, 2019)

The Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (TDMHSAS) is continuing the state’s leadership in improving employment opportunities for people with disabilities through a new grant award. 

Tennessee is one of 13 Capacity Building States identified for the Visionary Opportunities to Increase Competitive Employment (VOICE) program through the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Disability Employment Policy.  The grant represents technical assistance which will flow to community behavioral health providers who use the Individual Placement and Support (IPS) Supported Employment model to connect people with severe mental illness to competitive integrated employment opportunities.

Read the full news release at this link.