Community Psychiatric Practice

Community Mental Health Journal

, Volume 42, Issue 3, pp 303-313

First online:

What Predicts Supported Employment Program Outcomes?

  • Deborah R. BeckerAffiliated withDartmouth Medical SchoolNH-Dartmouth Psychiatric Research Center Email author 
  • , Haiyi XieAffiliated withDartmouth Medical School
  • , Gregory J. McHugoAffiliated withDartmouth Medical School
  • , John HallidayAffiliated withInstitute for Community Inclusion, University of Massachusetts
  • , Rick A. MartinezAffiliated withJohnson & Johnson

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Numerous state systems and local mental health and vocational rehabilitation programs are currently attempting to implement supported employment. This cross-sectional survey of 26 mental health agencies, partnering with federal-state vocational rehabilitation, identified differences in access to supported employment services and rates of competitive employment (efficiency) as well as predictors of access and efficiency. Access varied from 2 to 100% and was related to the percentage of supported employment specialists per consumers with serious mental illness served by the mental health agency (funding). Efficiency varied from 7 to 75% and was related to implementation of the critical components of evidence-based supported employment and to the local unemployment rate. To help mental health clients achieve their employment goals, state systems and local programs should address consolidation of resources in supported employment and the quality of implementation of supported employment.


severe mental illness supported employment vocational rehabilitation employment outcomes.