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New SAMHSA report shows the availability of Supported Employment in Specialty Mental Health Treatment Facilities

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The majority of mental health treatment facilities offered neither supported employment nor vocational rehabilitation services

A new report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) examines the availability of supported employment in specialty mental health treatment facilities in the United States and whether they offer vocational rehabilitation services.

In 2014, 75.4 percent of mental health facilities offered no employment services, according to the study. Further, among the 19.6 percent of facilities that did offer supported employment and 15.9 percent that offered vocational rehabilitation, there occurred significant overlap in service delivery.

“Having a job increases self-esteem and promotes recovery,” said Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary, Kana Enomoto. “It’s vital for people with serious mental illnesses to have employment opportunities that can provide the right supportive services to help them sustain healthy, productive lives.”

The report also found that facilities offering supported employment differed in characteristics such as delivery setting, facility operation, and religion affiliation. Those that deliver services in a 24-hour hospital inpatient setting were less likely to offer supported employment (12.4 percent) than facilities that deliver services in residential (23.1 percent) or outpatient settings (21.6 percent). Private facilities (for-profit and non-profit) were less likely to offer supported employment (10.3 and 19.4 percent, respectively) than facilities operated by public agencies or departments (29.1 percent). Facilities affiliated with a religious organization were less likely to offer supported employment than those that were not affiliated (10.0 vs. 20.4 percent).

Many people with a psychiatric disability could be successful in achieving competitive employment with the help of an evidence-based supported employment service known as Individual Placement and Support. The goal of the program is to prioritize and offer full access to employment through individual placement support services for people with serious mental illness, including co-occurring substance use disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The report uses data from The National Mental Health Services Survey (N-MHSS); an annual survey conducted by SAMHSA of all known mental health treatment facilities in the United States, both public and private.

The report, Availability of Supported Employment in Specialty Mental Health Treatment Facilities and Facility Characteristics: 2014 is available at: https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/report_3071/ShortReport-3071.html

Facilities can use SAMHSA's Supported Employment Evidence-Based Practices Kit, available at: https://store.samhsa.gov/product/Supported-Employment-Evidence-Based-Practices-EBP-KIT/SMA08-4365 to integrate services into their treatment programs.

To find specialty mental health treatment facilities that offer supported employment, use SAMHSA's Behavioral Health Treatment Locator: https://findtreatment.samhsa.gov/.

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Reporters with questions should send inquiries to media@samhsa.hhs.gov.


The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation. SAMHSA’s mission is to lead public health and service delivery efforts that promote mental health, prevent substance misuse, and provide treatments and supports to foster recovery while ensuring equitable access and better outcomes.

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