Family Advocacy for IPS Supported Employment
March, 2010

As part of the Johnson & Johnson – Dartmouth Community Mental Health Program, the Family Advocacy for IPS Supported Employment Project was established to engage family members and family advocacy groups in our collective efforts. The goals are to:

    In 2008, states within the larger program were invited to submit applications to participate. Connecticut, Illinois and Vermont were chosen to be part of the pilot project to develop partnerships between family groups (state and local NAMI affiliates) and IPS supported employment state teams. Each state recruited family members who were interested in furthering family advocacy for IPS supported employment. Next, the project supported five family members from each state and a state IPS supported employment liaison, along with Mike Cohen (Executive Director NAMI New Hampshire) to meet at the Dartmouth Psychiatric Research Center to learn about IPS supported employment principles and practices and to begin developing goals and plans to advocate for IPS supported employment. Following the meeting, the teams have had bi-monthly teleconferences to discuss challenges and progress. The family advocacy teams are given funding to cover expenses for supplies, travel and time of family members to promote the goals of the project.

    In 2009, the other states in the larger program were invited to submit an application to form a second group in the Family Advocacy for IPS Supported Employment Project. Missouri, Ohio, Oregon, and South Carolina were invited to be part of the project. They identified family members, met at Dartmouth and began developing flowcharts to determine goals, objectives and strategies for their state family teams.

    Other efforts to engage and include family members in IPS supported employment have included ongoing discussions with NAMI National, presentations at NAMI’s national conference and articles about IPS supported employment in NAMI’s online newsletter. Further, Michael Fitzpatrick, Executive Director NAMI, and David Shern, President and CEO Mental Health America, are members of the Johnson & Johnson-Dartmouth Community Mental Health Program advisory board.