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Around 2009, Alameda County Behavioral Healthcare and the Department of Rehabilitation (DOR) staff met with Debbie Becker and Robert Drake from the J&J Dartmouth Mental Health Program to learn about the national collaborative project for the dissemination of the Individual Placement and Support Supported Employment (IPS/SE) program. This meeting marked an important milestone which began a several year process of building momentum to align our services with this approach. As the years progressed, through our hard work and effort we have successfully been able to garner support from our wider service delivery system as they have begun to see employment services as an integral part of a comprehensive service delivery system. This recognition marks an important phase in our system development. In spring of 2012 we were offered an opportunity to be formally included in the collaborative project as a “Special Project Site”. This will allow us to add two additional pilot program sites which will help to demonstrate the valuable role employment services play in the lives of persons recovering from psychiatric disabilities. ACBHCS partnership with the Greater Bay Area East Bay District has been a key part of our local success and sets the foundation for ongoing support for the consumers shared in common.

The mission of the Johnson & Johnson - Dartmouth Community Mental Health Program is to increase access to evidence-based supported employment, also known as Individual Placement and Support (IPS), for adults with serious mental illness who are interested in improving their work lives. This international program systematically works with states, countries, and jurisdictions to implement IPS supported employment following the evidence-based guidelines, initially in a small number of sites (typically 3-4 community mental health centers) and expanding over time. The program is administered in each participating area through the collaboration between the area mental health authority and the state vocational rehabilitation administration. Through the support of Johnson & Johnson’s Corporate Contribution, the Dartmouth Psychiatric Research Center oversees the Program and provides ongoing technical assistance and consultation on supported employment to the states.

A significant benefit of this program is the opportunity for states, countries, and jurisdictions to actively participate in an ongoing IPS supported employment learning collaborative. All Program states have continued to take advantage of this learning community beyond the four years of the financial incentive awards

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