New Data Show Latest Community Mental Health Center Challenges

Community mental health centers are seeing a different group of people in need—individuals denied disability benefits for mental health impairment. A new article, coauthored by Westat researchers Christine Borger, Ph.D., Robert Drake, Ph.D., M.D., Jocelyn Marrow, Ph.D., and Jeffrey Taylor, Ph.D., shares the findings in Psychiatric Services: Characteristics of Enrollees in the Supported Employment Demonstration.

The Supported Employment Demonstration (SED) explores whether support services help those who have been denied disability benefits for mental health impairment become gainfully employment. Westat is running the SED, which is funded by the Social Security Administration (SSA).

After recruiting SED participants, the data indicate that the majority of study participants are low-income and have below normal health-related quality of life. They frequently report anxiety disorders, personality disorders, and mood disorders, as well as several comorbid physical health conditions.

“This important study highlights characteristics of an at-risk population that has never been studied and will inform programmatic efforts,” says Dr. Borger, the lead author.

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