Vinfen is proud to announce its participation in a national study, entitled “The Supported Employment Demonstration,” funded by the United States Social Security Administration and managed by Westat. The Supported Employment Demonstration will look at how employment services, provided along with integrated behavioral health and social services, can help people experiencing mental illness get a good job. As one of thirty research sites in the study, Vinfen will deliver supported employment and care management to 80 new persons served. Dr. Robert Drake of Dartmouth’s Psychiatric Research Center selected Vinfen to implement the demonstration in the Boston area.
Those recruited for the study suffer from behavioral health challenges and are at risk for diagnosis, but are not yet served by the Department of Mental Health. Participants will consist of individuals who applied for disability benefits due to a mental impairment but had their initial request denied. The study will include over 3,000 individuals across the country who will participate for up to 36 months beginning in September 2017.
“The hope is that by providing insurance, care management, and supported employment, we can help individuals avoid going on disability,” said Vinfen Director of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services Steve LaMaster. He is serving as Site Director for the study. Other Vinfen staff members who will facilitate the study include CBFS Supported Employment Director Phoebe Goodman as Team Leader and CBFS Employment Specialist Sarah Cowart.
In the United States, Social Security denies about half of all individuals who apply for the first time. Once individuals receive disability benefits, it is increasingly difficult to transition back to full-time work at full time pay. “We want to keep people out of the poverty trap,” Steve LaMaster said.
There will be three experimental groups in the study. The first will receive care as usual from a mental health team. The second will receive that same care, but also receive support from two employment specialists. The third group will be supported by the mental health team, two employment specialists, and a nurse care coordinator.