Supported Employment (SE)

Supported Employment, a SAMHSA evidenced-based model, has been successfully used for decades as an approach to vocational rehabilitation for supporting people with serious mental illness to obtain competitive employment. SE provides the support necessary to ensure success in the workplace. The overriding philosophy of SE is the belief that every person with a serious mental illness is capable of working competitively in the community if the right kind of job and work environment can be found.

Members are offered help finding and keeping jobs that capitalize on their personal strengths and motivation. The primary goal is to find a natural “fit” between a member’s strengths and experiences and jobs in the community. The SE model focuses on rapid job search and attainment. Members are considered “work ready” when they say they want to work. Job searches are conducted at a pace that is comfortable for the client and is not delayed by red tape. Members are offered long-term support and can continue to receive services until they determine that help is no longer necessary.

Work plays a pivotal role in defining an individual’s quality of life and must be an integral part of a person’s overall life experience. Supported employment offers an innovative process that enables employment as an achievable goal for people with disabilities. Real jobs mean that the terms and conditions for people with disabilities should be the same as for everyone else including competitive wages, equal employee benefits, safe working conditions and opportunities for career advancement.

“I was out of the workforce for so long due to my mental health that I didn’t have the confidence and had the belief that there would be no hope for me in obtaining a job. Since starting the Supported Employment service I was given encouragement and belief that using my existing skills, that I could get a job and be successful. Every week my individual sessions with the SE service guided and assisted me in finding a part-time job in which I love. My self-esteem and a general sense of well-being have improved, combined with the satisfaction that I am making a valued contribution to the customers in which I serve. The SE service has always been there when I needed the assistance to get me through any challenges that have been presented to me in my life and I cannot recommend this service enough. Thank you so much.”

—John T

These services are Sarasota County-wide with specialists working in both north and south county. To learn more about Supported Employment please contact Derek Blake at dblake@mhcci.com.

MENTAL HEALTH COMMUNITY CENTERS (MHCC). IS A REGISTERED 501c3 WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY, INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE #04-3585931 AND WITH FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND CONSUMER AFFAIRS # CH38125 A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED BY THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS BY CALLING TOLL FREE 800-435-7352, WITHIN THE STATE OR VISITING: WWW.800HELPFLA.COM. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE.”