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June 22, 2007 Susan Parker, MSW, MSP Director of Policy and Research - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Mental Health and Employment: ODEP as Coordinator and Innovator. June 22, 2007 Susan Parker, MSW, MSP Director of Policy and Research Office of Disability Employment Policy United States Department of Labor 202.693.7880

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Mental Health and Employment:


Coordinator and Innovator

June 22, 2007

Susan Parker, MSW, MSP

Director of Policy and Research

Office of Disability Employment PolicyUnited States Department of Labor


Mental health and employment the changing landscape
Mental Health and Employment: The Changing Landscape

  • Traditional employment model = job training followed by job placement

  • Modern employment model = job placement followed by on-the-job skills training

New Freedom Commission on Mental Health,2003 Report

Specific recommendations on the critical role employment plays in the recovery and community participation of people with psychiatric disabilities and mental health needs.

Employment Statistics

  • In 2005, the employment rate of working-age (21-64) people was:

    No Disability = 78.3%

    Any Disability = 38.1%

    Mental Disability = 29%

    From the 2005 Status Report on Employment for the United States (using data from 2005 American Community Survey)

Reasons for Positive Outlook

Aging working population


Creation of new jobs


Increased demand for qualified employees

Mental Health Transformation needs Collaboration and Coordination

“No level or branch of government, no element of the private sector, can accomplish needed change on its own. To transform mental health care as proposed, collaboration between the private and public sectors and among levels of government is crucial.”

President’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health

ODEP as Coordinator Coordination

Federal Partners in Mental Health Transformation – Employment Work Group


Department of Labor Mental Health Work Group

Employment work group
Employment Work Group Coordination

  • Formed in 2006 under SAMHSA

  • Role: to carry out activities related to employment as an integral part of individual recovery from mental illness and as part of the transformation of mental health systems.

Employment work group1
Employment Work Group Coordination

  • Six Federal Partner Departments

    (DOL, ED, VA, HHS, SSA, DOJ)

  • Meets monthly

  • Chaired by ODEP Policy & Research Director

  • 2 Subcommittees

    • Employment Retention

    • Returning Service Members with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury

Employment work group2
Employment Work Group Coordination

2007 Action Plan

  • Identify specific barriers;

  • Develop new resources, and publicize and disseminate existing resources and effective practices;

  • Cross-agency “speakers bureau”;

  • Federal hiring authorities;

  • “Business case” for hiring and retaining individuals with mental illness; and

  • Hiring by private employers.

Dol mental health work group
DOL Mental Health CoordinationWork Group

  • Six DOL agencies (ODEP, VETS, ETA, CRC, OASP, CFCI), 15 offices

  • Meets monthly

  • Chaired by ODEP Policy & Research Director

DOL Mental Health CoordinationWork Group


  • Identification and filling of mental health practice knowledge gaps in DOL agencies

  • Integrate mental health into program areas that involve more than one agency (e.g., homelessness)

  • Update members on mental-health related activities

  • Share ideas for incorporating mental health into workshops and trainings

  • Bring in experts on mental health and employment

  • Strategize on publications, policies and programs that benefit both individuals with mental health needs and the business community

Odep as innovator
ODEP as Innovator Coordination

Returning Service Members with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and/or Traumatic Brain Injury (through Employment Supports Team)

  • PTSD/TBI = large % of OEF/OIF Vets

  • employment especially helpful in recovery

  • customized employment is key

  • Balboa Training Curriculum and REALifelines

ODEP as Innovator Coordination

  • Employment Retention (through Employment Supports Team)

  • Exploring opportunities in the workforce system

    to help individuals obtain and retain jobs

  • ODEP/DOJ Retention Study for ex-offenders, focusing on those with MH concerns (much of which will be applicable to those with MH concerns generally)

ODEP as Innovator Coordination

  • Employer Team

    • Using Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) to address mental health needs of younger workers

    • Mental health benefits and parity in Federal health benefits plans

    • Mental health friendly workplaces

    • Mental Health Month – May 2007

ODEP as Innovator Coordination

  • Mental Health Month – May 2007

  • ODEP & Office of WorkLife and Benefits Programs

  • Congress’s 54 th annual proclamation of May as Mental Health Month

  • DOL events = every Wednesday in May

  • “Mind your health”

  • Live Presentations and Fairs

Odep as innovator1
ODEP as Innovator Coordination

Adult Team

  • Customized employment strategies (including self-employment and microenterprise development)

  • Development of guidance on self-employment for front-line staff in One-Stop Career Centers

Odep as innovator2
ODEP as Innovator Coordination

Youth Team

  • “Entering the World of Work: What Youth with Mental Health Needs should Know about Accommodations”

  • “Tunnels and Cliffs: A Guide for Workforce Development Practitioners and Policymakers serving Youth with Mental Health Needs”

  • Research Documenting Promising Practices for Youth with Mental Health Needs

  • Youth Leadership and Development Summit