Kessler Foundation Grants $332,000 to Mental Health Association of South Central Kansas
EAST HANOVER, N.J. January 18, 2017—Kessler Foundation has awarded a two-year, $325,000 Signature Employment Grant to the Mental Health Association of South Central Kansas to launch Career Success—an initiative to increase employment for individuals with behavioral health issues. The amount is part of $2.5 million in grants awarded by Kessler Foundation last year to organizations across the U.S. to support initiatives that create and expand job training and employment opportunities for people with disabilities.
Traditional Supported Employment (SE) programs focus on job seeking and job keeping without addressing other issues that can greatly impact employment outcomes for people with serious mental illness. The Career Success program addresses this problem through the unique, synergistic effect of integrating three evidence-based strategies into a SE program: Thinking Skills for Work (TSW) Illness Management and Recovery (IMR), and the Stanford model of Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP). TSW is a multifaceted program designed to enhance cognitive functioning and optimize work performance; IMR improves health literacy and assists individuals to manage their psychiatric illnesses; and CDSMP teaches core skills in coping with and managing chronic physical illness.
Long-term goals for participants of the program include better health, increased community integration, decreased reliance on formal systems of care, and lower health care costs. If the integration of TSW, IMR, and CDSMP with Supported Employment improves employment results in this population, the strategies can be replicated by other SE programs.
“Our Signature Employment Grants are awarded nationally to fund new pilot initiatives, demonstration projects, or social ventures that generate innovative ideas to solve the high unemployment and underemployment of individuals with disabilities,” said Elaine E. Katz, MS, CCC-SLP, senior vice president of grants and communications at Kessler Foundation. “Practices like the Career Success program, that strengthen cognition and health self-management skills, may be the key to improving vocational outcomes among people with mental illness who are striving to work.”
The service delivery collaborators for Career Success include COMCARE (the local community mental health center), Vocational Rehabilitation Services, the managed care organizations responsible for Kansas Medicaid (Amerigroup, Sunflower, and United), and a technical advisor from Boston University.
Kessler Foundation is accepting applications now for its 2017 grant programs. To learn more and to apply, please visit our website. Signature Employment Grant applications must be submitted by March 17th, and Community Employment Grant applications are due by February 27th.
About Kessler Foundation
Kessler Foundation, a major nonprofit organization in the field of disability, is a global leader in rehabilitation research that seeks to improve cognition, mobility and long-term outcomes, including employment, for people with neurological disabilities caused by diseases and injuries of the brain and spinal cord. Kessler Foundation leads the nation in funding innovative programs that expand opportunities for employment for people with disabilities.
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