May 23, 2012
Dan O’Brien is the Deputy Associate Commissioner for Social Security’s Employment Support Programs. Prior to joining Social Security, Mr. O’Brien managed return to work programs for people with serious mental illness for 27 years.
Since 1949, May has been recognized as Mental Health Month, to help raise awareness for mental health in America and to bring attention to services that support people with mental health issues. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) estimates that one in four adults in the U.S. will experience mental illness per year. That translates to more than 57 million Americans. Serious mental illness is the leading cause of disability in the U.S. for people between the ages of 15 and 44.
Nationwide, one of the most pressing issues for young adults is making the transition from education to full time employment.This is a challenging transition for many, especially in these tough economic times. However for those with mental illness, additional resources and support may be required. As a family member of someone with mental illness, I’ve been concerned for some time that society does not create the same high career expectations for people with a mental illness as it does for those without mental illness. Unemployment rates for people with mental illness hover around 80 percent- the highest unemployment rate of any disability group and more than twice than that of young adults without a disability. While this can be partially attributed to the debilitating effect of multiple barriers, I believe it’s also a result of what I call the “tyranny of low expectations.”
Posted in Leadership Messages | 10 Comments »
May 17, 2012
Immediately following this month’s WISE Webinar, we will be on Facebook answering your disability employment questions! Join us May 23 at 4:30 PM ET at http://www.facebook.com/choosework where we will be joined by Community Work Incentives Coordinators Denise Norris and Kendra Berry of Aspire Indiana Works. Whether you want to ask a about a special work incentive, or just how to get started with Ticket to Work, we welcome your questions and everyone is welcome to participate!
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May 11, 2012
Our You Can Work blog series continues to highlight the achievements of adults with disabilities who found a better, self-supporting future with help from Social Security’s Ticket to Work program. This feature spotlights Robert Statam. Robert is a veteran and Ticket to Work beneficiary who enjoys fishing, sporting events, and his job as a National Service Officer for Paralyzed Veterans of America. Watch his success story video.
Ticket to Work offers free employment support services to people like Robert, who are recipients of Social Security disability benefits. There are also Work Incentives that make it easier for people to enhance their job skills through training and work experience. Robert heard about Ticket to Work and waited until the right time to pursue employment. “Ticket to Work helped me go to work where my heart is,” he said. The program helped Robert prepare for a new, satisfying career. It can happen for you too. Visit the website for more inspiring stories, and learn how Social Security’s Ticket to Work program can help you.
For more information, explore www.choosework.net, email us at email@example.com, or call 1-866-968-7842 (V) or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY/TDD). Subscribe to the Choose Work blog today for updates on Ticket to Work. You’ll receive an alert each time we update the blog!
Posted in Ticket Program News, You Can Work Series | 6 Comments »