Making It Work – Policy Framework for Employment Supports for People with Series Mental Illness

With the release of Making It Happen, the government set the direction for a three-year plan to reform Ontario’s mental health system. A key component of a reformed mental health system is the provision of and implementation of an employment supports strategy that is comprehensive, provides the specialized supports needed by people with a serious mental illness, and reflects evidence-based best practices. Within this context, it is acknowledged that this framework must also be part of a shared service model approach that partners with the Ministry of Community and Social Services, federal government programs, the business community and the training and education sectors. Currently, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) funds more than 40 dedicated employment supports programs and businesses that support people with serious mental illness. These programs are delivered by community mental health agencies, hospitals, provincial psychiatric hospitals and mental health consumers. (See Appendix 2 – Vocational Survey.) These programs have developed over a number of years in the absence of any formal policy direction to guide their creation and ongoing operation.