Date: 12 Jan 2006

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

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Abstract

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.

A version of this paper was presented at the Academy/Health annual conference in San Diego, June 8, 2004.