Employment Development Initiative (EDI)

In an effort to assist State Mental Health Authorities, in close collaboration with Single State Authorities, in planning and implementing activities to foster increased employment opportunities for people with mental health and/or substance use disorders, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and its Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) created the Employment Development Initiative (EDI).

This initiative provides, on a competitive basis, modest funding awards in the form of fixed-price subcontracts between the Contractor, the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD), and the States, Territories and District of Columbia. In addition, each awardee will receive two consultant technical assistance visits coordinated and paid through the Contractor's portion of the project.

Applications were judged on the following criteria:

  • Demonstrating ongoing significant collaborative efforts with SSAs;
  • Identifying and adopting best/evidenced-based practices in order to maintain and/or enhance supported employment programs which will increase employment opportunities for people with mental illness and substance abuse disorders;
  • Maintaining program integrity through multi-agency collaboration and by engaging performance management tools;
  • Identifying appropriate performance measures and anticipating and reporting on plan outcomes;
  • Involving consumers and families in the development and implementation of the initiative.

SAMHSA/CMHS announced the first nine (9) Employment Development Initiative Awardees making awards averaging $103,000 for Fiscal Year 2012:

  1. Iowa – Self-Employment Initiative
  2. Michigan – Supportive Employment (SE) Education and Training including Benefits Counseling and Supervisor Training
  3. Nebraska – Interagency SE Collaboration with the enhancement of SE Functions in ACT teams
  4. North Dakota – Interagency SE Collaboration including Group Coaching and an Entrepreneur Pilot
  5. Pennsylvania – SE Training for Peer Specialists
  6. Rhode Island – Using IPS and Certified Peer Wellness Coaches to create Employment Opportunities
  7. South Carolina – Integration Peer Support into Supportive Employment
  8. Texas – Expansion of SE through Consumer Operated Services Programs
  9. Virginia – Employment First Initiative

The nine (9) Employment Development Initiative Awardees for Fiscal Year 2011 were:

  1. Alabama – Statewide Needs Assessment, cross systems Employment Advisory Council and Development of a detailed Strategic Plan.
  2. Connecticut – Self-Employment Training and Start-Up Grants
  3. Georgia – Peer Supported Employment (SE)
  4. Missouri – Consumer Operated SE
  5. New Hampshire – Co-Occurring SE and Interagency Collaboration
  6. New Jersey – Whole Health Barriers to Employment
  7. New York – Guidebook unifying clinical, rehabilitation and vocational services under on licensing entity
  8. Vermont – SE Champions
  9. Wisconsin – Rural SE and Peer Support

Summaries of completed projects are located here.