Through what is known as the Work Well Initiative, CSH collaborates with the San Diego Workforce Partnership (SDWP) to increase employment opportunities for vulnerable individuals with lived experience of mental illness in San Diego County, CA. As the local Workforce Development Board, SDWP is integral to this work, particularly when it comes to engaging the business sector. SDWP helps empower job seekers to meet the current and future workforce needs of employers in San Diego by funding job training programs, providing targeted employment services, and collecting regional data on workforce trends, in-demand occupations, and high-growth industries.
In addition to our work with SDWP to increase employment opportunities for vulnerable people, CSH has created a speaker ‘s bureau addressing mental health, stigma and employment. As part of Work Well , we also completed a Supported Employment Fidelity Review Report of the Mental Health Systems Employment Solutions Program (at the request of the County of San Diego Behavioral Health Services Division).
CSH’s employment work has been at the core of our efforts in San Diego County since 2014. CSH also partnered with SDWP to write a strategic employment plan for individuals in San Diego living with serious mental illness. This work, funded by the County of San Diego, Behavioral Health Services through the California Mental Health Services Act , will continue through 2019.
The five-year Behavioral Health Strategic Employment Plan was developed through an extensive stakeholder process that included input from clients, service providers, employment specialists, and mental health organizations focused on evidence-based models and innovative techniques that support complete and full recovery. The focus centers on an array of supported employment opportunities as a key component to mental health recovery.
The six goals of the Plan are: 1) Increase opportunities for employment, income, length of employment and job retention for people with the lived experience of mental illness; 2) Increase awareness of mental illness and related stigma within the workplace and community ; 3) Increase and enhance relationships with employers, businesses, and the entrepreneurial sector; 4) Identify and increase funding opportunities for employment, business, social enterprise-related initiatives and program s for people with lived experience of mental illness; 5) Streamline navigation systems for people with mental illness regarding employment and supportive services; and 6) Improve data collection, analysis and reporting capacity of service providers regarding increased employment for people with lived experience of mental illness.
CSH is helping to guide the implementation of the Plan by offering technical consulting services, trainings, employer socials, presentations on mental health and stigma, annual focus groups to remain in close contact with the clients who are working to find jobs and the employment specialists who are working diligently to assist them, and by promoting employment resource directories and funding announcements.