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Mental Health Services

DOES WORKING WITH A VIRTUAL HIRING MANAGER HELP ENHANCE SUPPORTED EMPLOYMENT SERVICES FOR ADULTS WITH SEVERE MENTAL ILLNESS?

 

In 2016, Dr. Smith received a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health (R01 MH110524) to deliver Virtual Reality Job Interview Training (VR-JIT) where trainees with serious mental illness practice interviewing with Molly Porter (a virtual hiring manager) in their community mental health agency. As you can imagine, providing VR-JIT to adults with serious mental illness within a structured research setting will be quite different from delivering VR-JIT to these individuals with serious mental illness within their typical everyday mental health services.

 

Dr. Smith and his collaborative team from Northwestern University, the University of Illinois at Chicago, Boston University, Yale School of Medicine, and the Illinois Department of Human Services Division of Rehabilitation Services are looking to learn whether helping individuals practice interviewing with Molly within their typical mental health services is going to:

 

1) provide the same opportunity to work with Molly (will clients interview with Molly 10-15 times before going on a real-life interview?)

 

2) improve interview skills and access to jobs (if clients don’t interview with Molly as often in their everyday services, will they still benefit from working with her?)

 

3) make sense economically (how much will it cost to bring VR-JIT to your service provider? and is it cheaper to provide interview skills training by practicing interviews with Molly or your vocational counselor/specialist?)

 

To answer these questions, Dr. Smith and his research team are partnering with Thresholds Inc. in Chicago, Illinois. If you would like to learn more about how you can bring Molly to your clients, please click here.

 

Established in 1959, Thresholds provides healthcare, housing, and hope for thousands of persons with mental illnesses and substance use disorders in Illinois. Through care, employment, advocacy, and housing, Thresholds assists and inspires people with mental illnesses to reclaim their lives. Thresholds offers 30 innovative programs at more than 100 locations throughout Chicago, the adjacent suburbs, and nine surrounding counties. Services include assertive outreach, case management, housing, employment, education, psychiatry, primary care, substance use treatment, and research. Last year, Thresholds served more than 16,000 adults and youth, with 75% of services delivered out in the community, representing more than 500,000 hours of care.


 

 

 

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