Minnesota Bill Aims to Expand Employment Services for People with Mental Illness
The Minnesota legislature is considering a bill that would allow more individuals with psychiatric disabilities and behavioral health issues to access Individual Placement and Support (IPS) employment programs funded by the state Department of Employment and Economic Development. These programs combine mental health services with evidence-based job placement and training models to help people with psychiatric disabilities and behavioral health issues attain meaningful employment. For many workers with mental health conditions, access to mental health supports, including treatment, can be essential to getting and keeping employment. Unfortunately, individuals receiving services through mental health agencies often are not offered or encouraged to access IPS or other employment supports. Minnesota currently offers 15 IPS programs in 40 counties, but more than half of the state counties have no IPS programs. State Senator David Tomassoni’s bill would increase funding by $2.5 million through 2017 to increase availability of the IPS programs.