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Helping Youth on the Path to Employment (HYPE 1.0)

PI: Michelle Mullen
Marsha Ellison
Project Director: Kathryn Sabella
Time Frame: October 1, 2012 to March 30, 2018
Funded by: National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research, United States Department of Health and Human Services (NIDILRR; grant number A-90DP0063 ). NIDILRR is a Center within the Administration for Community Living (ACL), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

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A Manual and Training Program to Promote Careers among Transition Age Youth and Young Adults with Psychiatric Conditions    

The Rutgers University Department of Psychiatric Rehabilitation and Counseling Professions and UMass Chan Medical School Transitions Research and Training Center (RTC) will be developing an innovative career development intervention, Helping Youth on the Path to Employment (HYPE). HYPE will be delineated and refined into a manual and training program to integrate Supported Education (SEd) with Supported Employment (SE) and other vocational services in order to adequately support transition age youth and young adults (TAYYA) with psychiatric conditions in achieving self-sufficient lives. In collaboration, both organizations are uniquely positioned to develop this intervention and the accompanying manual to assist SE services in integrating employment and educational supports. Such an approach will anticipate common barriers and issues these individuals face, including the development of adequate supports for all of their vocational goals. The new manualized HYPE intervention will address the specific needs of TAYYA by helping them to positively launch their careers and develop an early employment history. The integration of educational pursuits with SE is integral, as it is relevant to this developmental period in which it is common for TAYYA to pursue both employment and education simultaneously. It is also necessary to prepare them for the demands of today’s workforce, requiring advanced vocational, technical and/or post-secondary education.

HYPE will be a comprehensive, integrated career development intervention for TAYYA with psychiatric conditions that can be implemented across a variety of settings. A manualized model,  that  is  guided  by  a  National  Advisory  Council  (NAC) and  Participatory  Action Committee (PAC) consisting of young adults and youth with lived experiences, will be informed by the findings of four activities of the proposed development program: (1) a scoping literature review; (2) an innovative practices survey; (3) qualitative interviews with TAYYA to learn about the practices that promote career development, obstacles commonly faced, and critical times for service delivery; (4) activity synthesis and consensus conference where all activity findings will be integrated and vetted through the NAC and PAC in order to reach consensus agreement regarding the critical features of career development for TAYYA. After these four activities, the HYPE manual will be created. It is anticipated that the following information will be addressed: strategies for meeting common challenges such as cognitive deficits, substance abuse, and legal involvement, as well as how to integrate SE and SEd interventions that specifically target TAYYA. The manual will also feature a training materials section to prepare staff in providing career development services for young adults and youth.

The last activity will be to conduct a 12-month implementation assessment of the manual.

The implementation will be conducted at SE sites. Practitioner and TAYYA feedback will be collected to further refine the manual in order to prepare for dissemination. In an effort to ensure quality services, a quality assurance tool will be created to measure agencies’ adherence to and use of the manual’s content. A multi-media training platform, including video instruction of how to use the manual, will be developed to accompany the manual in an effort to reduce the need for costly technical assistance during later implementation. Sites will participate in a Community of Practice as a method of providing technical assistance throughout the trial of the manual. Dissemination and knowledge translation activities will occur throughout the grant.

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Presentation Slides

PRA Recovery Workforce Summit: 2015 Annual Conference: Barriers, Supports, and Innovative Services from the Perspectives of Transition Age Youth and Service Providers
June, 2015
Marsha Ellison, Sloan Huckabee, Michelle Mullen, Rachel Stone, Judy Thompson

Innovative Services to Support Learning and Working Goals of Young Adults with Serious Mental Health Conditions
March, 2015
Marsha Ellison, Sloan Huckabee, Rachel Stone, and Michelle Mullen


Helping Youth on the Path to Employment (HYPE)
March 2015
Marsha Ellison, Sloan Huckabee, Rachel Stone, and Michelle Mullen


Innovative Practices to Support Young Adults with Mental Health Conditions
Rachel Stone, Marsha Ellison, Sloan Huckabee, & Michelle Mullen