Mental Health Vocational Program ( MHVP) promotes vocational outcomes in adults with severe mental illness..

MHVP is the program that ACIDD Maryland is offering to people with psychosocial disorders. People with Mental Disorders who receive Vocational Services are also receiving other services from the Public Mental Health System (PMHS). MHVP is only one of our many behavioral health program services. It includes vocational consultation, pre-employment training and job training, coaching and transitioning for individuals with mental illness and other barriers to employment. Employment Support Services are provided to individuals in their Job development, and Job placement besides Intensive job skills training, follow up services, social skills training, related services, and other supported employment services through natural supports in the community. Vocational Program meets the individuals’ needs for competitive employment and develops a support system in the work environment. Evidence Based Practice Supported Employment services are eventually provided to people receiving vocational services in an IPS employment model in the community.

Who are the beneficiaries?

The people that are being served under MHVP belong to a group of individuals that have deteriorating mental and emotional well-being. These individuals may variably face threats of persistent thoughts on suicide, persistent feelings of hopelessness and despair, feelings of anxiety and nervousness, sleeplessness, difficulty in concentrating, and increased use of drinking and smoking. They may have lack of appetite or excessive eating, unusual difficulty in making decisions, or they may withdraw from society, show hypersensitivity, and panic.

Staff To Individuals Ratio:

For every 15 individuals who are admitted to the MHVP, there is one Employment Specialist to perform initial and performance assessments, visit them at their job sites, meet with their employers, complete weekly activity reports, maintain documents of their progress, provide job support and on the job training and facilitate intervention between employer and employee. However, there are additional employment specialists to provide Individualized employment support, whenever needed. In addition, the Program Director and rehabilitation Specialist who have sufficient knowledge and experience in the field of vocational/employment services are available to execute administrative and supervisory responsibilities.

Program sites

Currently, there are two licensed locations for a Vocational Program for people with mental disorders in Maryland. They are 5999 Harpers farm Road, E-250, in Columbia, Howard County and 300 Thomas Drive, in Laurel, PG County. However, the Vocational program is not a site-based program. Job skills training, pre-employment training and social skills training will take place at the licensed sites. The hours of operation of the program sites are 9:00 am to 5:00pm, Monday through Friday. Transportation to sites is provided to all participants. Job coaches and employment specialists are available to participants.

Goals, Objectives and outcome:

Mental health for all individuals is the goal of all people who aspire to healthy well-being in society. There is no health without mental health. However, health is adversely affected by growing mental illness among people which becomes a denial of people’s identity that results in discrimination, violation of rights, inequality, lack of accessibility and prejudice against people who live with mental illness. The goal is to eliminate all the above and make people to live healthy life at the same level for all.

The specific objectives in Mental Health Vocational Program services are to make people who are affected by mental disorders recover from their illness, to be inclusive and feel equal with others and have services received to grow and change their status in society. Mental Health Program for adults leading to Individual Placement and Support (IPS) Supported Employment promotes awareness about mental health issues, promote independence and choice, emphasize human rights, inform public policy, achieve equity for mental health care comparable to other health care, and reduce stigma and discrimination against those with mental illnesses.

The important objective of the Mental Health Social Initiative for participants with mental disorders leading to a community integrated and Evidence Based Practice (EBP) in Supported Employment eventually is building therapeutic relationship with natural supports. They build creative ways of becoming independent, recover from serious mental illness and maintain jobs. The intent is to promote the development and implementation of effective program to enhance healthy psychological development of minds and reduce mental health barriers to mental stability. The overarching goal is to offer services that reduce barriers to independence, learning, protection of rights and choice and enhance healthy psychological development of people affected by mental stress and disorders.

The measurable program outcome that forms the basis for this program is based on four goal areas of prevention, recovery, education and independence. They reflect the established needs of Maryland’s mental health needs of individuals and families establishing health and mental health for all who receive services in Maryland.