Meaningful work is described as one of the functional indicators of healing and growth beyond the disability and is seen as critical in recovering a personal sense of worth and value. We describe a supported education-supported employment program which focused on teaching computer, recovery and work skills. A program evaluation was implemented on four consecutive classes of this program. Four classes with a convenience sample of sixty-one students were involved in the evaluation over years. The program utilized a one group pretest, posttest design, with repeated measures over time. Following the 10-month classroom training phase, students entered a 2-month internship to give them computer office work experience. Students were interviewed quarterly using standardized assessments involving work and other subjective outcomes. Results suggest that overall the students experienced a positive change in work status and income and a decrease in mental health services utilization. In addition, non-vocational outcomes, specifically self-esteem and empowerment improved. The program represents a successful integration of supported education and supported employment program models.
Evaluation of a combined supported computer education and employment training program for persons with psychiatric disabilities.
December 1, 2007