Mental Health America (MHA) is continuing its tradition of celebrating "May is Mental Health Month," which began in 1949. This year’s theme, "Live Your Life Well," challenges us to promote health and wellness in homes, communities, and schools. Every day, Americans are affected by the myriad challenges, stresses, and demands on their lives. There are effective tools that are readily available and free to help persons cope better and improve their well-being. Live Your Life Well is a national public education campaign to help people better cope with stress and enhance their well-being. Stress can take a huge toll on a person's health, mood, productivity and relationships. There are tools that can help counterbalance these effects. This Web-site provides resources to build resiliency and well-being:http://www.liveyourlifewell.org/ Access the following Web site to find links to fact sheets and information on mental health: http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/go/mentalhealthmonth Activities and Tools for the Public Workforce System http://www.dpnavigator.net/pages/mentalhealth_30.html The Disability Program Navigator (DPN) initiative has created a series of five 30-second trainings to disseminate via email to One-Stop Career Center and Partner Agency staff. The first Resource listed on the page is a Microsoft Word document which contains instructions on how any workforce professional can customize these “30 Second Trainings” to meet their needs. Employer Resources Check out the tools/resources (from the Partnership for Workplace Mental Health) to assist employers wiht menatl hekath issues in the work place. http://www.workplacementalhealth.org/employer_resources/index.aspx
Serving People with Psychiatric Disabilities in Centers for Independent Living: A Fact Sheet The national network of Centers for Independent Living (CILs) increasingly serves individuals with mental health challenges or a combination of mental health and physical/sensory disabilities. This new 20-page publication from the Temple University Collaborative provides CIL staff with clear and current information to help them better respond to the needs of people in recovery from mental illnesses. Developed in conjunction with CIL staff and mental health consumers from around the country, the Fact Sheet provides brief responses to twelve frequently asked questions (e.g., what is mental illness? where can people with psychiatric disabilities turn for clinical care and rehabilitation services? what impact is the mental health consumer movement having on MH system services? how can CIL staff respond to the needs of mental health consumers?) as well as online linkages to websites with more detailed information and instruction for each topic. The publication is designed both for individual CIL staff and for use in CIL staff training programs focusing on this growing portion of the CIL consumer base. Serving People with Psychiatric Disabilities in Centers for Independent Living: A Fact Sheet can be downloaded at no cost from the Temple University Collaborative's new website - tucollaborative.org - and is available in a variety of accessible formats.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has issued a new Report which provides state-by-state analysis of the prevalence of mental illness. This report finds that nationally almost 20 percent of all adults—44.5 million aged 18 or older—experienced mental illness in the past year. Among states, the highest rate of any mental illness occurred in Rhode Island (24.2 percent) while the lowest rate occurred in Maryland (16.7 percent), according to the study compiled by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Nationally, 10.4 million adults aged 18 or older (4.6 percent of that population) experienced a serious mental illness (SMI) in the past year. Arkansas, Idaho, Rhode Island, Utah and West Virginia had the highest rates for both SMI and any mental illness. Alaska, Maryland, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Dakota and Virginia had the lowest rates across both.
In June 2011, the National Technical Assistance And Research Center (NTAR) issued, "Moving TANF Recipients with Disabilities to Work: Examples of State Strategies." A substantially higher proportion of TANF recipients have physical and/or mental disabilities. TANF recipients, especially those with disabilities, have significant challenges to getting and keeping a job. This Information Brief examines the successful strategies that states have used to assist TANF recipients with a disability to secure and retain employment.
This training gives a general overview of Mental Health month.
Each 30-Second Training has been saved as a PowerPoint Show (.pps), so clicking on a link will automatically launch the training in both .pps.
• To save a copy of the PowerPoint Show to your Desktop to disseminate via email:
? In Internet Explorer, simply right click on the .pps link and choose “Save Target As.”
? In Firefox, simply right click on the .pps link and choose “Save Link As.”
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) affects 1 in 29 Americans, from our country’s service men and women to abused children and survivors of rape, domestic violence and natural disasters. June is PTSD Awareness Month. This impacts upon employment. Refer to the attached docuemnt for resources
MDRC recently released its final report on the Transitional Jobs Reentry Demonstration (TJRD), Returning to Work After Prison. The report has important implications for policymakers, researchers and practitioners—as well as for prisoners. Some 700,000 people are released from prison each year. Two-thirds of them are later rearrested and half return to prison within three years. Finding steady work is particularly daunting for them, since former prisoners often have low levels of education and skills and no recent work experience. They are also concentrated in a small number of struggling urban neighborhoods that lack resources to assist the reentry process. Many states have developed prisoner reentry initiatives in recent years. At the federal level, the Serious and Violent Offender Reentry Initiative, the National Reentry Resource Center, and, most recently, the Second Chance Act of 2008 have supported these efforts. While transitional jobs are seen as promising, little is known about what strategies are effective in helping former prisoners find and hold jobs. The TJRD was designed, with support from the Joyce Foundation, to help fill this gap. TJRD focused on programs providing subsidized temporary jobs, support services, and job placement help. It assessed how such programs affected employment and recidivism during the two years after people entered the study. The findings show that transitional jobs can increase the overall rate of employment for former prisoners after release. These increases in employment, however, were found to be due solely to the transitional jobs themselves, with little evidence that they led to better unsubsidized employment outcomes over a two-year period. Thus, the study concludes, researchers and practitioners should also test other strategies.
The U.S. Census Bureau issued, "Americans with Disabilities, 2010, Census Bureau Report"(July 2012). About 56.7 million people, 19 percent of the population (nearly 1 in 5 people), had a disability in 2010 with more than half of them reporting the disability was severe. This report provides estimates of disability by status and type. According to the report, the total number of people with a disability increased by 2.2 million over the period, but the percentage remained statistically unchanged. Both the number and percentage with a severe disability increased, however. Likewise, the number and percentage needing assistance also both increased. The report shows that 41 percent of those age 21 to 64 with any disability were employed, compared with 79 percent of those with no disability. Along with the lower likelihood of having a job came the higher likelihood of experiencing persistent poverty; that is, continuous poverty over a 24-month period. Among people age 15 to 64 with severe disabilities, 10.8 percent experienced persistent poverty; the same was true for 4.9 percent of those with a nonsevere disability and 3.8 percent of those with no disability. The statistics are from the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), which contains supplemental questions on whether respondents had difficulty performing a specific set of functional and participatory activities. For many activities, if a respondent reported difficulty, a follow-up question was asked to determine the severity of the limitation, hence, the distinction between a “severe” and "nonsevere" disability. In addition to the statistics from this report, the Census Bureau also produces annual disability estimates from the American Community Survey (ACS). While the ACS uses a different definition of disability than in this report, it produces estimates of the population with disabilities at subnational geographies like states, counties, places and metropolitan areas.
On May 25, 2102, DOL/ETA issued Training and Employment Guidance Letter (TEGL) 31-11, "Update on Complying with Nondiscrimination Provisions: Criminal Record Restrictions and Disparate Impact Based on Race and National Origin. The purpose of this TEGL is to provide information about exclusions based on criminal records, and how they are relevant to the existing nondiscrimination obligations for the public workforce system and other entities that receive Federal financial assistance to operate Job Banks, provide assistance to job seekers in locating and obtaining employment,and assist employers by screening and referring qualified applicants.
On July 18, 2012, there was a Workforce3One webinar entitled,"Understanding the New Department of Labor Civil Rights Guidelines Governing Criminal Background Checks and Federally-Funded Workforce Development Programs." ETA Assistant Secretary was joined by DOL's Civil Rights Center and the Office of the Solicitor, as well as the National Employment Law Project, and the Oakland Private Industry, Inc. Reintegartion of fornerly incarcerated persons into communities is a priority for this Administration. Secretary Solis stated: "When someone serves time in our penal syutem, they should not face a lifetime sentence of unemployment when released..." DOL initiatives support reentry-Federal bonding protection for employers who hire people with a criminal record, reentry grants and programs and TEGL 31-11.
On August 13, 2012, DOL/ETA issued TEN 5-12, "Online Career Tools Updates and Virtual Demonstrations." This TEN announces ETA's suite of online career tools for jobseekers, students, workforce professionals, and businesses, including CareerOneStop, Certification Finder, the Worker Reemployment Portal, the Veteran Reemployment Portal, mySkillsmyFuture, My Next Move, My Next Move for Veterans, and the Healthcare Virtual Career Network.
The Partnrship for Workplace Mental Health just issued, the "Business Case for Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Treatment: A Literature Review." There is a compelling business case for effective treatment of mental health and substance use disorders. Access to quality mental health/addiction care - sometimes called behavioral health care - is essential because of the high prevalence of these conditions in the workplace and their impact on other health care costs and the corporate bottom line when left untreated. Thousands of clinical studies have shown a high degree of therapeutic effectiveness for mental health and substance use treatment and relapse prevention. There is solid evidence to support that businesses benefit from overall cost savings from medical and disability cost reduction and increased productivity when mental health/addiction treatment is provided. In the United States, 30 to 40 percent of the population experience mental health and substance use disorders at some point in their lives, with about half of these people (15% to 20%) requiring professional care each year. Close to ten percent of workers are classified as ?heavy alcohol users? who drink large amounts of alcohol on a regular basis. The general prevalence of illicit drug use among U.S. workers is eight percent. There is also significant co-occurrence of mental disorders and substance disorders (up to 25%) and significant co-occurrence of mental and substance use disorders with other chronic medical conditions. Unlike most other costly health conditions, mental health and substance abuse disorders typically first take hold in adolescence or young adulthood and thus affect people in the prime of their working years.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) recently issued the "Workforce Investment Act Employment Network (EN) Payment Agreement," under its Ticket to Work and Self Sufficiency (TTW) Program. The purpose of the Payment Agreement is to establish the terms and conditions under which state workforce agencies, state and local workforce investment boards, or American Job Centers (AJC), or AJC Operators can be paid as ENs for services provided to Social Security disability beneficiaries under the TTW Program. The Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration has implemented several efforts to expand the capacity of the public workforce system to serve persons with disabilities, including those receiving Social Security disability benefits, and to promote the employment of persons with disabilities. One of the major components of these efforts is to promote the public workforce system entities becoming active ENs (i.e., accepting Tickets and receiving payment for providing services to Ticket Holders). The new WIA EN Payment Agreement is the first time that the SSA has issued an EN Payment Agreement solely for the public workforce system. It is a result of the ongoing partnership between the Department and SSA to expand the capacity of the American Job Center network to serve persons receiving Social Security disability benefits and ultimately improve their employment outcomes, leading the way to economic self-sufficiency.
The Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the constitutionality of most of the Affordable Care Act (ACA)—while simultaneously cutting requirements that states must expand their Medicaid programs—leaves many states in a quandary. A new brief from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and Health Affairs says it is unclear how many states will now move forward with expanding the program, or what options they have to undertake partial expansions. Previously, the ACA mandated that states expand Medicaid eligibility to adults under age 65 who earn less than 133 percent of the federal poverty level. An additional brief from RWJF’s State Health Reform Assistance Network provides state officials with a guide to conduct their own Medicaid expansion analysis as they consider an expansion. The brief includes a financial impact worksheet and considerations table, which includes analyses by other states and organizations for them to consider. THis will have a large impact on persons with disabilities and their fmamlies.
The Center on Transition to Employment for Youth with Disabilities has issued a brief on Post-School Outcomes for Transitioning Youth with Developmental Disabilities (DD); Can we Predict Integrated Employment? The issue brief provides a summary of a research study that documented post-school outcomes for youth with DD, and examined the predictors of successful integrated employment for these youth. The study surveyed staff at 59 community rehabilitation providers across Maryland and asked them about youth with DD who exited school in 2008. Surveys were completed on 338 youth who were out of school for approximately one and a half years. The study found that the majority of the subjects were placed in unpaid/sheltered/non-work activities (193 or 57.1 percent) rather than some type of integrated employment. Also notable is that only 14.2 percent of the youth were engaged in competitive integrated employment. The study further examined the relationship of a set of empirically-derived predictor variables to integrated employment. The research found five variables that had a unique significant relationship with integrated employment: family member expressed preference for paid community employment; paid work experience during school; community mobility skills; self-management skills; and race/ethnicity. The two most prominent variables that predicted integrated employment were family members who expressed a preference for paid community employment and paid work experience prior to exit from secondary school. According to the issue brief, the significant impact of families expressing a preference for integrated employment suggests a need for a substantial shift of resources and focus to the role of families in transition to employment planning. Additionally, the study strongly supports the value of paid work experience prior to exit from secondary education for youth with developmental disabilities.
The American Public Human Services Assoication (APHSA), through its "Pathways Initiative," is forging a vision for a transformed human service sytem and for the outcomes such a system can achieve. In this Initiative, APHSA includes Achieving Gainful Employment and Independence, including for persons with disabilities. APHSA has issued a policy Brief, entitled, "Employment for People with Disabilities." Excerpts... Gainful Employment and Independence is one of four key outcome areas APHSA seeks to impact through a transformed human service system. Through aligned and person-centered programs, flexible funding, meaningful accountability, and strategic partnerships, we can provide the opportunities and supports that will help low-income individuals get a job, keep a job, and start down a sustainable career path. The necessary policy directions for gainful employment and independence will require that we: •direct resources into those supports that will help adults get a job and stay employed; •emphasize education and training;affordable, quality child care; incentives for employers to hire those getting public assistance; and help with transportation to a job; •provide supports, such as tools to help secure stable housing and appropriate opportunities for those with disabilities; and •provide other opportunities through which adults can quickly become as self-sufficient as possible, such as community wealth creation enterprises. For working-age individuals and their families, having a job and staying in the workforce are critical to achieving greater independence. Employment is one of the surest and most long-lasting means to equip people with the lifetime tools they need for sustaining their incomes and dignity and avoiding future need for government support.
Exciting New Initiative Since 2009, the MyFreeTaxes (MFT) Partnership has helped more than 4.4 million families (about 14% with disabilities) receive more than $5.98 billion in tax refunds through expanded access to free tax preparation services. Last year, MFT returned $1.78 billion to low- to-moderate income households, an average of more than $1,100 per taxpayer, by saving money on preparer fees and receipt of favorable tax credits. My FreeTaxes Partnership is funnded by Walmart, National Disability Institute (NDI), United Way Worldwide (UWW) and Goodwill International (GII) will work together to expand awareness/access to free, inclusive in-person tax preparation services, while pioneering the free online MyFreeTaxes.com filing option. Over the past 4 years, the number of filers who submitted taxes on MyFreeTaxes.com increased by almost 500%. This year, the IRS has expanded training/support for self-preparation models, including MyFreeTaxes.com to offer alongside traditional Volunteer Income Tax Assistance -VITA. AJCs are ideally positioned to integrate tax services due to their diverse customer-base, many of whom are unemployed or struggling to stay within low-to moderate income range once employed. The DEI is the first USDOL initiative to incorporate asset development as a major strategic component to enhance the economic self-sufficiency of individuals with disabilities; any new approaches implemented will be value-added for all customers within the workforce system. From Nov 1 to Aug 31, 2013, NDI will recruit/pay a certified IRS VITA Tax Coach to work 20 hours a week in an AJC(s) to collaborate with local UWW and GII partners, VITA and tax coalitions, and DRCs to raise awareness in the workforce system on benefits/options of free tax preparation. Contact: Jamie Robinson, MFT Project Manager (617)467-4195, email@example.com
The ERISS Corporation issued a Report, "Employer Perceptions and Attitudes Towards the Employment of Military Veterans," 2012. This Report detailed findings of a region-wide business survey of the Lincoln Trail Area Development District (Kentucky)
On December 4, 2012, The Employment and Training Administration's issued Training and Employment Notice (TEN) No. 14-12," Receiving Ticket to Work Payments as an Employment Network." The purpose of this TEN is to announce a streamlined process for the American Job Centers, state workforce agencies,and workforce investment boards to become Employment Networks (ENs) under the Social Security Administration's (SSA) Ticket to Work (TTW) Program. The TTW Program provides Social Security disability beneficiaries with incentives and options for them to enter or re-enter the world of work. It provides disability beneficiaries with choices, opportunities, and supports needed to become employed, stay employed, and increase earnings. The Department of Labor has promoted public workforce system entities becoming active ENs as part of its comprehensive effort to expand the capacity of the workforce system to serve people with disabilities. Over 10 million people receive SSDI and/or SSI benefits. The public workforce system is currently serving thousands of Social Security disability beneficiaries each year and more public workforce entities could participate in and reap the benefits of the TTW Program by becoming ENs. The new Workforce Investment Act EN Payment Agreement is the first time that the SSA has issued an EN Payment Agreement solely for the public workforce system. The following are a few highlights from the EN Payment Agreement: 1. Simplifies and reduces the paperwork for public workforce entities to become ENs. 2. Permits the use of an Individual Employment Plan (IEP), rather than requiring the use of a SSA Individual Work Plan, to receive payment as an EN. 3. Provides two options for payment: a) "Intensive Services Only”; and b) "Ongoing Employment Support Option" 4. Permits the use of electronic tools, including eData Sharing, eTicket Assignment, and Workforce ePay, to expedite payments to Workforce EN entities, reducing administrative burdens.
In December, 2012, the Congressional Budget Office(CBO)issued an Overview Report on the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Program. In 1974, the Federal government established the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program to provide cash assistance to people who are disabled, aged, or both and who have low income and few assets. SSI replaced several state-run support programs that had been partially financed by the federal government. In fiscal year 2013, the program will make payments to more than 8 million people at a cost to the federal government of about $53 billion, CBO estimates. This report discusses how the SSI program works, who receives payments, the program’s spending and its interaction with other government programs, the extent to which SSI affects people’s work and saving, and possible approaches to changing the program. Participation in SSI among adults with disabilitiez has increased significantly since the early 1990s. Currently, about 60 percent of SSI recipients are adults with disabilities(ages 18 to 64), about 15 percent are children with disabilities (under age 18), and about 25 percent are aged adults (age 65 or over) with or without disabilities. SSI recipients generally are eligible for health insurance through Medicaid, and many also participate in other income-security programs that provide Federal support to low-income people. In the early 1990s, participation in SSI among people under the age of 65—that is, among people with disabilities—increased substantially, in part because of changes in eligibility rules. Such participation rose again between 2006 and 2011, mainly because of the recession.
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP)issued a Report, "SSI and Children with Disabilities: Just the Facts," December 14, 2012, by Kathy Ruffing and LaDonna Pavetti. Excerpts... Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for low-income children with disabilities are back in the news, in part because of a recent New York Times column by Nicholas Kristof. Unfortunately, the program is being subject to some sharp criticism that is based on misunderstanding of key issues related to SSI for poor children with disabilities. Discussion and debates concerning this program should be rooted in facts and data, not impressions, misimpressions, and anecdotes. This Report presents basic facts about the program and tries to clear up some significant misunderstandings. View the full report: http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=3875 http://www.cbpp.org/files/12-14-12ss.pdf 4 p
In December, 2012, the GAO issued Report 13-15,"Children's Mental Health: Concerns Remain About Appropriate Services for Children in Medicaid and Foster Care." An annual average of 6.2 percent of noninstitutionalized children in Medicaid nationwide and 4.8 percent of privately insured children took one or more psychotropic medications, according to GAO's analysis of 2007-2009 data from the Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS). MEPS data also showed that children in Medicaid took antipsychotic medications at a relatively low rate--1.3 percent of children--but that the rate for children in Medicaid was over twice the rate for privately insured children, which was 0.5 percent. In addition, MEPS data showed that most children whose emotions or behavior, as reported by their parent or guardian, indicated a potential need for a mental health service did not receive any services within the same year. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and many states have initiatives under way to help ensure that children receive appropriate mental health treatments. However, CMS's ability to monitor children's receipt of mental health services is limited because CMS does not collect information from states on whether children in Medicaid have received services for which they were referred. GAO recommended in 2011 that CMS identify options for collecting such data from state Medicaid programs. Findings in this report underscore the continued importance of CMS's monitoring of children's receipt of mental health services. HHS's Administration for Children and Families (ACF) reported that 18 percent of foster children were taking psychotropic medications at the time they were surveyed, although utilization varied widely by the child's living arrangement. ACF also reported that 30 percent of foster children who may have needed mental health services did not receive them in the previous 12 months.
A January 24,2013 Disability Study by Allsup found that unemployment for people with disabilities drops to four-year low. The fourth-quarter unemployment rate and Social Security disability applications were at the lowest since 2008. The number of people with disabilities applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) also reached a four-year Allsup,is a nationwide provider of SSDI representation and Medicare plan selection services. While this may seem to indicate that the worst of the economic crisis has passed, the unemployment rate for people with disabilities was still 70 percent higher than for those with no disabilities during the fourth quarter of 2012, according to the Allsup Disability Study: Income at Risk. The full study is available at http://www.allsup.com/Portals/4/allsup-study-income-at-risk-q4-12.pdf. Specifically, the unemployment rate averaged 12.4 percent for people with disabilities and 7.3 percent for people without disabilities during the fourth quarter of 2012. This compares to 13.7 percent for people with disabilities and 7.9 percent for people without disabilities during the third quarter of 2012. These figures are based on non-seasonally adjusted data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Beginning in 2013, the projected assets of the Disability Insurance Trust Fund will fall below 100 percent of the annual costs, according to the 2012 Annual Report of the Board of Trustees of the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and Federal Disability Insurance Trust Funds (2012 OASDI Trustees Report). The DI Trust Fund is projected to exhaust its reserves in 2016. At that time, revenues from payroll taxes will cover only 79 percent of benefits.
The Conference Board released a report, "Level the Playing Field: Attracting, Engaging, and Advancing People with Disabilities." This report draws on the work of the Conference Board Research Working Group (RWG) on Improving Employment Outcomes for People with Disabilities. This RWG was sponsored by the Employment and Disability Institute at Cornell University, under a grant from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research of the U.S. Department of Education. The RWG focused on four key issues – the business case, organizational readiness, measurement, and self-disclosure, and addressed several questions, including the following: 1. Is it advantageous for organizations to employ people with disabilities? 2. What should organizations do to create a workplace that enables people with disabilities to thrive and advance? 3. How can success for both people with disabilities and the organization itself be determined? 4. How can people with disabilities, especially those whose disabilities are not obvious, be encouraged to identify themselves so that resources can be directed toward them and outcomes can be measured? The report examines the business case for employing people with disabilities through seven lenses: talent pool, costs, benefits, revenue and market share, work group performance, financial incentives, and fulfillment of executive and legislative mandates. On six of these lenses, the report finds the people with disabilities are equivalent to their peers without disabilities, or perform better in some respects. Through the cost lens, the report finds that people with disabilities appear to be more costly employees than people without disabilities, but only marginally so. On issues of organizational readiness, measurement, and self-disclosure, the report identifies and describes eight “leading” practices for improving employment outcomes for people with disabilities. These practices include: developing
Report,"Funding Health-Related VR Services: The Potential Impact of the Affordable Care Act on the Use of Private Health Insurance and Medicaid to Pay for Health-Related VR Services," analyzes potential impact of ACA on funding health-related VR services. A paper prepared for the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Vocational Rehabilitation, Institute for Community Inclusion, University of Massachusetts Boston, analyzes the potential impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on the payment for certain health-related vocational rehabilitation (VR) services, including physical and mental restoration services, assistive technology devices and services, and personal assistance services. As noted in the paper, one of the issues impacting administration of the VR program is how to maximize access to and use of all available funding sources to pay for VR services and supports for VR customers. According to the author, ACA includes new potential funding sources to help pay for health-related VR services and supports. These new sources include private health insurance as well as Medicaid. The ACA has requirements addressing the provision of essential health benefits in private coverage and Medicaid. Essential health benefits include rehabilitative and habilitative services. Leveraging potential opportunities under ACA to cover health-related VR services could increase the funding available to pay for more traditional VR services (such as counseling and guidance, job-related services, supported employment, and specific post-employment services) and to serve additional VR customers. The paper has recommendations for maximizing the use of funding sources other than VR to pay for the costs of health-related VR services and supports, particularly physical and mental restoration services, assistive technology devices and services, and personal assistance services. The paper also analyzes policies in four states: California, Florida, Massachusetts, and North Carolina.
Employment among Those Served in Community Mental Health Programs A new Data Note from the Institute for Community Inclusion, University of Massachusetts Boston, draws on data from fiscal years 2002 - 2011 Center for Mental Health Services Uniform Reporting System to explore national trends and state findings on employment among persons served in Community Mental Health Programs (CMHPs). The authors note that state mental health agencies provide a range of employment supports, including rehabilitation services and vocational and pre-vocational training, as well as supported and competitive employment supports. The authors find an overall downward trend in employment for individuals served in CMHPs from 2002 to 2011. The percentage of individuals served in CMHPs who are employed declined to 19.6 percent in 2011 from 23 percent in 2008. Additionally, the authors find wide variation by state in the number of people in CMHPs who were served and employed in 2011. The report includes a table with data by state. To access Data Note number 43, visit http://statedata.info/datanotes/datanote.php?article_id=351.
The Youth Transition Demonstration: Lifting Employment Barriers for Youth with Disabilities This issue brief, published by Mathematica Policy Research’s (MPR) Center for Studying Disability Policy, provides a summary description of the demonstration and findings from the implementation and interim impact analyses. The author describes the demonstration design and services available to treatment group participants, including work-based experiences, youth empowerment, family training activities, benefits counseling and waivers of certain disability benefit provisions to allow youth participants to keep more of their benefits while working, and system linkages to help connect youth to services. The author also provides information on treatment and control groups in the YTD projects that used random assignment. To support implementation, projects were also provided technical assistance by TransCen, Inc. The brief notes that SSA-funded YTD services have ended, the implementation analysis has been completed, and the impact analysis is currently ongoing. Findings from the implementation analysis showed considerable variation in the amount and focus of services from project to project in phase one. In response, the technical assistance was modified to assist phase two projects to focus more strongly on connecting youth with competitive employment. Findings from the interim impact analysis indicate that projects that provided more hours of services had a greater impact on the employment outcomes of youth during the year after they entered the evaluation. Of the four projects that provided the most hours of services, three had positive impacts on the number of youth who found paying jobs, and two also had positive impacts on annual earnings.
Online Work Readiness Assessment (OWRA) Tool, 2013 OWRA is a Web-based suite of resources, tools, assessments, and guidelines that help case managers engage participants in work-focused activities that lead to long-term self-sufficiency. OWRA provides case managers with the tools, methodology, and process to ask the assessment questions, integrate new participants into the TANF program, and strengthen service delivery linkages with other agencies.
The Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services has announced the publication of the Final Long-Range Plan for Fiscal Years (FY) 2013-2017 (Plan) for the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Services (NIDRR). This Plan provides an overview of NIDRR's goals and objectives, identifies contributions that NIDRR research has made to improve the lives of individuals with disabilities, and presents NIDRR's specific goals and objectives for the next five years. This Plan is effective May 6, 2013. NIDRR's purpose is to: (a) Provide for research, demonstration projects, training, and related activities to maximize the full inclusion and integration into society, employment, independent living, family support, and economic and social self-sufficiency of individuals with disabilities of all ages, with particular emphasis on improving the effectiveness of services authorized under the Act; (b) provide for a comprehensive and coordinated approach to the support and conduct of such research, demonstration projects, training, and related activities; (c) promote the transfer of rehabilitation technology to individuals with disabilities; (d) ensure the widespread distribution, in usable formats, of practical scientific and technological information; (e) identify effective strategies to enhance the opportunities of individuals with disabilities to engage in employment, including employment involving telecommuting and self-employment; and (f) increase opportunities for researchers who are members of traditionally underserved populations, including researchers who are members of minority groups and researchers who are individuals with disabilities.
Excerpted from Secretray of HHS' press release... When one in four American adults experiences a mental health problem in any one year, this means we are all likely to know someone who has been affected. Mental Health Month was established in 1949 to help bring attention to the importance mental health plays in Americans’ lives. The observance provides an opportunity to look back at how far we have come, while looking forward to the work that still remains. Just over 50 years ago President Kennedy called for a bold, new approach to mental health. This approach emphasized prevention, treatment, education and recovery, instead of shame and stigma. That call for action led to the Community Mental Health Act and Federal investment in community mental health centers, which provided an alternative to institutionalization. Medicare and Medicaid expanded coverage of mental health care. Groundbreaking research translated into life-saving treatment. Laws like the Americans with Disabilities Act helped break down long-standing barriers in our hospitals, schools, and workplaces. The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act made significant progress toward ensuring that a health plan that offers mental health benefits provides coverage that is comparable to coverage for benefits for physical health. More recently, the Affordable Care Act goes a long way toward ensuring that Americans have access to affordable health insurance coverage that offers mental health and substance use disorder services. Together, these laws will expand behavioral health benefits and federal parity protections to 62 million Americans.