Healthcare Utilization and Interest in Employment Services among Behavioral Health Home Patients with Mental Health Disorders
The purpose of this study was to explore the extent to which behavioral health homes (i.e., organizations delivering primary care services in mental health treatment settings) provide or have the capacity to provide support for patients’ employment, as well as reduce their likelihood of applying for and depending upon public disability benefits. Research participants were clients of a behavioral health home agency located throughout Chicago and its suburbs, serving patients with mental health disorders. This study examined service utilization, non-SSA work and disability program participation, and self-reported health and mental health status of a group of behavioral health home patients who were SSA disability beneficiaries and compared them with non-beneficiaries. We also compared the labor force participation of beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries, and receipt of or interest in receiving career development, employment support, and/or return-to-work services. Results revealed that all participants (N=121) used mental health services: 100% outpatient, 8.3% inpatient, and 6.6% crisis services. Only 33.9% used medical services: 23.1% outpatient, 6.6% inpatient, and 17.4% emergency department. Over half (56.2%) used vocational services.