Skip to main content

Temple University Collaborative Releases Toolkit Promoting Community Inclusion for Individuals with Psychiatric Disabilities

May 31, 2017

The Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion of Individuals with Psychiatric Disabilities (“The Collaborative”) recently released its County Mental Health Administrators’ Toolkit for Promoting Community Inclusion. The toolkit recommends that county mental health administrators take certain “Action Steps” to focus their county’s mental health services on community inclusion. The Collaborative believes that county mental health administrators are in a unique position to promote better mental health services as they plan their county’s mental health system, including employment services. They suggest a holistic approach that incorporates community inclusion into service planning, service reimbursement, and county mental health offices’ outreach to community-based civic, faith-based, business, and other organizations.

The Collaborative asserts that community inclusion is made up of multiple “life domains,” each of which are important aspects of community life. Employment, specifically paid competitive work that lifts a person with a psychiatric disability out of poverty, is considered a critical life domain for community inclusion. The Collaborative also considers limited or no employment, stigma, inadequate housing, and poor transportation to be related barriers to full community inclusion. It recommends that county mental health administrators create supported employment programs and partner with their local community colleges to develop educational opportunities for people with psychiatric disabilities.

The Collaborative notably proposes that administrators advocate for changes to Medicaid funding that reimburse services related to community inclusion as “medically necessary.” It also proposes that all new contracts, Requests for Proposals (RFPs), Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs), and other public documents include a statement about community inclusion. For more information on The Collaborative’s toolkit and the action steps it proposes for county mental health administrators, read the toolkit and all appendices.