Paramus-based Care Plus NJ Inc. said Sept. 16 that it has been awarded $4 million dollars over the next five years in grant funding to expand its Supported Employment Services for individuals with persistent and serious mental illness by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
The funding has been allocated through the ‘Transforming Lives Through Supported Employment’ Program.
CarePlus’ current Supported Employment Program, funded by the New Jersey Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services, helps those who live with mental illness locate, acquire and keep full or part-time jobs in their community through career planning and a variety of individualized support. The SAMHSA grant will allow CarePlus to provide integrated, evidence-based Supported Employment Program, psychiatric care, and complimentary activities to improve competitive employment and recovery outcomes for adults with serious mental illness in both Bergen and Passaic counties, with a particular focus on young adults aged 18-25.
“With over 40 years of experience serving individuals with severe mental illness, coupled with over 25 years of providing supported employment services, CarePlus is well-equipped to utilize the expanded funding to help individuals reach and exceed their employment goals,” said Brigitte Johnson, senior vice president of Corporate Affairs at CarePlus.
CarePlus’ Transforming Lives program will increase the community’s capacity to implement integrated supports to improve competitive employment outcomes for individuals with serious mental illness. Provider training, community outreach, and employer collaboration will provide the infrastructure to foster individual success and establish a viable and expansive Supportive Employment model. CarePlus will also utilize its partnership with Uber Health as an emergency resource for individuals who require transportation but don’t have access to it, with the goal of establishing a sustainable mode of transportation for those enrolled in the program to establish independence.
According to CarePlus, it is estimated that approximately 80 percent of individuals with serious mental illness are unemployed. Employment has been found to significantly benefit individual’s recovery, including a possible improvement in symptoms, self-esteem, and financial security. SAMHSA has found that 60 percent of individuals with a serious mental illness can gain successful employment with the support of evidence-based Supported Employment Program.