Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research

, Volume 33, Issue 2, pp 244–252

Limitations of System Integration in Providing Employment Services for Persons with Mental Illness


    • Department of PsychiatryUniversity of Chicago
    • University of Chicago
  • William Heiser
    • Department of PsychiatryUniversity of Chicago
  • Amy E. Cooper
    • Department of PsychiatryUniversity of Chicago
  • Gene Oulvey
    • Illinois Department of Human ServicesDivision of Rehabilitation Services
  • Daniel J. Luchins
    • Department of PsychiatryUniversity of Chicago

DOI: 10.1007/s10488-005-0026-y

Cite this article as:
Hanrahan, P., Heiser, W., Cooper, A.E. et al. Adm Policy Ment Health (2006) 33: 244. doi:10.1007/s10488-005-0026-y


This study assessed the influence of service systems integration on employment outcomes for persons with mental illness. A survey was sent to all 125 key program staff that worked for community mental health treatment agencies or vocational rehabilitation agencies. The survey found that referral and employment rates were low; but that these rates were related to characteristics of the interagency systems integration. Community mental health staff referred 448 individuals for employment services. Staff from vocational rehabilitation agencies accepted only 26% of these referrals and found work for just 11%; 7% were employed six months later. Also, 39% of respondents reported that the linkage agreement between their agencies was never established. This study suggests the need for more effective strategies for integrating mental health treatment and vocational rehabilitation systems.


employmentmental illnessstate agenciessystems integrationvocational rehabilitation

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006