What is HYPE?
HYPE (Helping Youth on the Path to Employment) is a manual-based intervention for Supported Employment (SE) programs who wish to provide educational supports or to improve the quality of their services in order to better assist transition-aged youth and young adults with mental health conditions to develop their careers. HYPE is built off of the Individualized Placement and Support (IPS) approach to SE by modernizing services by prioritizing education early in employment services. Our goal is to create career development services that will help young adults achieve their goals in work and school, in order to gain competitive employment in the primary labor market and enabling them to live meaningful and economically self-sufficient lives.
Why HYPE is Needed
The HYPE project and related activities (see “Activities that Informed HYPE”) are designed to address the profound underemployment and unemployment of transition age youth and young adults by designing supports and strategies to help successfully launch them into lifelong career trajectories. Transition age youth and young adults are preparing to enter the labor force and are often at the critical juncture between leaving secondary education and the early steps of building a career path.
Our target population is 18-30 year olds who have a mental health condition that gets in the way of a meaningful life. Our integrated model of employment and education services addresses career development needs of this population, including individuals with co-occurring disorders.
Students with mental health conditions often struggle at every level of education. Over 50% of students over the age of 14 end up dropping out of high school, making mental health conditions the disability group with the highest dropout rate. About 40% of the general young adult population goes on to attend college, but that number is only 7-26% for young adults with mental health conditions. Students with mental health conditions have high dropout rates (86%) and low graduation rates in comparison to their peers (Ellison, Rogers, Costa, 2013). Although the statistics show that attainment of a college degree has additional barriers for young adults with mental health conditions, the graph also shows how important education can be in protecting youth from unemployment and poverty.