Supported Employment: The Evidence

This resource was selected by SMI Adviser content partners and approved by the SMI Adviser clinical expert team for inclusion in the knowledge base.

This resource on supported employment is one of several Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) KITs included in the series, How to Use the Evidence-Based Practices KITs. These KITs were produced by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS). This KIT is specifically aimed at providing instruction for the development of a Supported Employment Program (SEP) as an evidence-based practice. SEPs provide individuals living with serious mental illness (SMI) with an approach to vocational rehabilitation, an important component of recovery. This KIT provides EBP principles, beliefs, and values that guide the development of SEPs and address the following domains: clinical judgments; specific treatment components; structured service-delivery components; and components of program evaluation. The KIT provides written material with specific examples and instructions on how to provide supported employment counseling. This resource is primarily geared toward five critical groups of stakeholders: public mental health authorities, agency administrators and program leaders, EBP practitioners, consumers and family members. and other members of a person’s support system. This resource gives communities, administrators, practitioners, and state agencies the instruction needed to implement mental health practices that could work within their mental health systems.

The KIT’s booklets (sections) outline the essential components of an EBP and provides suggestions collected from those who have successfully implemented supported employment programs. These materials are based on professionals’ experiences of how to develop new supported employment programs within mental health systems and agencies. The KIT supports the notion that an EBP within mental health services should have the aim of helping individuals with SMI achieve personal goals that promote recovery goals such as develop resilience, and live, work, learn, and participate in the community. In addition, two clinical practice orientated philosophical tenets that guide these EBP KITs are: Consumers and families have a right to information about effective treatments in areas where EBPs exist, and they have a right to access effective services. This KIT presents material in different formats including the following: slides for a PowerPoint presentation, brochures, videos and CD-ROMs, practice workbooks and exercises, and program guidelines. Some materials are provided in Spanish.

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