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By The Skanner News | The Skanner News
Published: 15 October 2008

The Clark County Regional Support Network is embarking upon a project to improve the employment rate for individuals in RSN-funded mental health services. 
An event entitled, "Recovery Works in Clark County" will kick off the campaign. The event is set for Thursday, Oct. 16, from 1 to 2 p.m. at the Town Plaza Mall, 5411 Mill Plain. Tours, information and resources will be available from 2 to 4 p.m.
The RSN, responsible for the coordination of mental health services in Clark County, is required by the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services to conduct performance improvement projects. One project is to focus on clinical services related to the outcomes of service provision and one non-clinical, related to the process of service delivery. The current non-clinical project focuses on timely access to services and the clinical work aims increase employment for individuals with mental illnesses.
Recent research has found that the benefits of employment almost always outweigh any risks associated with the stressors of working for people with serious mental illness. 
Moreover, mental health systems are beginning to recognize the dangers associated with long-term and that being unemployed is much worse for people with mental illness than being employed. 
The Recovery Works event features: success stories from employees and employers; a presentation on the negative impact of long-term unemployment; resource tables to address some of the major barriers to employment; open tours and orientations of the employment-related services located within Town Plaza, Department of Vocational Rehabilitation, WorkSource, Clark College; and opportunity to meet with representatives from local organizations who help support individuals with mental illness find and maintain gainful employment.
Employment is central to integrating people into a full life in their community, whether they are affected by a disability or not.  For people living with mental illness, employment can play a key role in their recovery, offering valued roles, greater income, and opportunities for social support and increased self-esteem.
For more information, call Melodie Pazolt at 360-397-2130 or by e-mail at [email protected].

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