In brief

Employment rate increased for individuals with serious mental illness in 2018

LANSING — The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) 2018 Individual Placement & Support (IPS) report shows a 30 percent competitive, integrated employment rate was achieved by individuals with serious mental illness who were supported by evidence-based IPS services, an increase from 26 percent in 2017.

IPS is a model of supported employment for people with serious mental illness. IPS-supported employment helps people living with behavioral health conditions work at individual, competitive and integrated jobs of their choosing. Employment specialists help clients obtain partand full-time competitive jobs that pay at least minimum wage in community settings alongside others without disabilities. Mainstream education and technical training are included as ways to advance career paths.

“Through the years, IPS has had a profound impact on many individuals across Michigan, making a significant difference in not only their lives but the lives of their families,” said Robert Gordon. MDHHS director. “This program has helped these individuals by increasing their confidence, self-worth, pride and perhaps most importantly, hope.”

Michigan began implementing the Evidence- Based Practice Supported Employment – IPS model in 2004. Twenty-one IPS programs currently serve Michigan residents through local Community Mental Health Services Programs (CMHSPs) or contracted providers. Employment services are closely integrated with mental health treatment and benefits counseling.

Participants averaged 26.89 hours a week and earned an average of $10.40 per hour as people gained greater financial independence.

CMHSPs or providers interested in being an IPS site or seeking to register should visit Improvingmipractices.org and select the Practice Areas tab, then the Individual Placement & Support tab. — G.G.

Hurley Foundation to continue Sybyl M. Atwood Legacy

FLINT — Sybyl M. Atwood was a Genesee County treasure. As program director for Volunteer Information Services at Resource Genesee, she brought energy, outlook and dedication to help others in our community.

For 10 years, other amazing community volunteers have been recognized with the Sybyl Award. It is an important recognition to honor those who give. The Sybyl Award thought it saw its final year in 2018, however, Hurley Foundation has volunteered to maintain Sybyl’s legacy by continuing the award going forward.

“Anyone who has attended this treasured event understands the value of maintaining Sybyl’s legacy through the award,” says Jordan E. Brown, Director of Volunteer Services at Hurley Foundation. “Our intention is to continue to recognize the treasured volunteers of Genesee County, while honoring the integrity of this community event.”

Hurley Foundation looks forward to honoring exceptional community volunteers in Sybyl’s name. We are honored to preserve the Sybyl Award as a community-wide event. — G.G.