17-month Grant to Enhance Resources for Individual Placement and Support Participants
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Behavioral healthcare nonprofit LSF Health Systems was awarded a $45,000 grant from Simply Healthcare Plans to enhance resources for Floridians with serious mental health challenges who participate in supported employment services.
The program, called Individual Placement and Support or IPS, is primarily funded by the Florida Department of Children and Families. The model helps individuals living with behavioral health conditions work at regular jobs of their choosing. It’s based on principles including competitive employment, rapid job search, systematic job development, integrated treatment services, benefits planning, zero exclusion, time unlimited supports, and worker preferences.
The new grant from Simply Healthcare Plans provides stipends to participants that can be used to support housing, transportation, and other costs associated with finding and maintaining employment, according to the company’s president Holly Prince.
“Simply prioritizes and invests in initiatives that help Floridians access the necessary resources to live happy and healthy lives,” Prince said. “Simply is proud to partner with LSF Health Systems, which helps Floridians with mental health conditions gain meaningful employment, contribute to their communities and provide for their families. In doing so, we’re helping Floridians gain a better life.”
Unemployment often results in increased substance misuse and psychiatric disorders, reduced self-esteem, and social alienation, said Dr. Christine Cauffield, CEO of LSF Health Systems. The overall goal of the IPS program is to increase health and happiness while achieving meaningful employment.
“With help paying for these expenses, research shows participants have a higher chance of attaining and retaining employment,” Cauffield said. “We are grateful for this grant from Simply Healthcare Plans which will help us reach deeper into our community and positively change lives for the better. Having a serious mental health condition should not hinder you from living a normal life and living out your dream.”
The support from Simply Healthcare Plans also enhances outreach and promotion efforts to increase participation in the LSF Health Systems IPS program. The enhanced outreach will help LSF Health Systems improve public awareness about the availability of IPS services while increasing the number of participants in the program who gain employment.
LSF Health Systems is one of seven behavioral health Managing Entities contracted by the Florida Department of Children and Families to manage the state-funded system of behavioral health care for people who face poverty and are without insurance. LSF Health Systems serves a 23-county region in North Florida. For more information, visit lsfhealthsystems.org.