The suspension of time limits on job placements, along with MJSW support, became the basis of SE services delivered at Thresholds.
There are two key psychosocial outcome constructs of interest in this study. This would include the specification of severity of cognitive and affective symptomotology as well as the overall level of psychological functioning. The population that is accessible to this study consists of all persons who were clients of the Thresholds Agency in Chicago, Illinois between the dates of March 1, 1993 and February 28, 1995 who met the following criteria: 1) a history of severe mental illness (e.g., either schizophrenia, severe depression or manic-depression); 2) a willingness to achieve paid employment; 3) their primary diagnosis must not include chronic alcoholism or hard drug use; and 4) they must be 18 years of age or older.
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This paper describes the psychosocial effects of a program of supported employment (SE) for persons with severe mental illness.
The idea that this model could be generalized to persons with all types of severe disabilities, including severe mental illness, became commonly accepted (Chadsey-Rusch & Rusch, 1986).
One of the more notable SE programs was developed at Thresholds, the site for the present study, which created a new staff position called the mobile job support worker (MJSW) and removed the common six month time limit for many placements.
To date, there have been no formal studies of the effects of psychiatric rehabilitation programs on key illness-related outcomes.
To address this issue, this study seeks to examine the effects of a new program of supported employment on psychosocial outcomes for persons with SMI.
MJSWs provide ongoing, mobile support and intervention at or near the work site, even for jobs with high degrees of independence (Cook & Hoffschmidt, 1993).
Time limits for many placements were removed so that clients could stay on as permanent employees if they and their employers wished.