IEI Projects

On-site Training & Technical Assistance

The purpose of the TTA activities is to assist organizations to integrate a career focus into their services and improve employment outcomes for individuals being served.  This is a multi-level project addressing attitude, knowledge, and skills across the organization.  At the start of our involvement with an organization, the Institute faculty assess the organization’s needs and then work with the organization to develop a TTA plan.

Baseline data on employment and education services and outcomes is acquired and included in the plan.  Regular reports are made on the status of these goals and objectives.  TTA includes on-site didactic training for service providers and for consumers served by the organization, in-vivo training, and consultation for implementation and problem solving.

The on-site didactic training begins with a training for the entire organization (staff, persons served, and administrators) on the topic “Recovery and Employment”.  This training examines the importance of employment to recovery and includes a trainer’s personal recovery narrative.  Additional didactic trainings will be provided based on the assessed needs of the organization.

In-vivo training is provided to all organizations receiving TTA. In-vivo training uses modeling, coaching, and mentoring to teach the skills of employment service provision. This approach is used in the environment in which the services are provided (i.e., agency, community, etc.).  Institute faculty will work side by side with staff until the staff person has mastered the needed skills.

Consultation is designed to assist the organization in implementation of new skills and/or services. Institute faculty work with staff to identify and resolve barriers to implementation. This is often accomplished at staff meetings and may continue for a period of time until such support is no longer needed.

TTA has been used by various service modalities including Assertive Community Treatment (ACT), Residential Intensive Support Team (RIST), Supported Housing, Supported Employment, Justice Involved Services/Jail Diversion, Partial Care, and Partial Hospital programs. Agencies we have worked with include: Montgomery County Pennsylvania Mental Health Authority, Triple C Housing, Bridgeway Rehabilitation Services, Inc., Essex County PACT, Greater Trenton Behavioral Health Care Jail Diversion, Cumberland County Supported Employment, Riverview Medical Center’s Partial Hospitalization Program, and Collaborative Support Programs of New Jersey.

For additional information please see our website or contact Melissa Roberts.

Work and Recovery Video Project

The Work and Recovery Video project is designed to give the many people committed to increasing employment opportunities for individuals living with psychiatric disabilities the opportunity to share their views with others about the importance of work in the recovery process. Persons in recovery, program staff, supervisors, administrators, family members, employers, and vocational service providers share, from their own perspective, how and why work enhances personal recovery and increases participation in the community. These videos are intended to be used for educational purposes, professional development, advocacy, and motivational purposes. New videos will be added on a regular basis.  If you or someone you know is interested in telling a work and recovery story and having it available for others to see, please contact Joni Dolce at 856-566-2772 or

Peer Employment Support

Learning, giving support, discovering new ways of doing things, helping someone else, and meeting new people are all part of what happens in a Peer Employment Support (PES) group.

If you have been unemployed for a long-time, feel discouraged, or just don’t know what to do next, a PES group may be the place for you.

PES groups are offered at convenient locations where people can meet, learn and discuss work and job search issues. PES is run by trained group members who have dealt with many of the same issues as others in the group. A PES manual provides many different topics and is used as a guide to provide information and lead discussions.

People attending a PES group can be inspiring:

  •  “Even though I haven’t found work yet, PES is such a positive place to be.”
  • “I took what I learned from PES to a job interview this week, I dressed, spoke, and felt confident.”
  • “I was able to decide what kind of work I want to do, and am starting school this month to get the training I need.”
  • “I got the job I wanted. I was so discouraged I had given up hope. Now I know I can do more.”

To find out more about locations of PES or about starting your own group call: 856-904-0229.


The Role of Self-efficacy in Employment Tenure for Persons with Serious Mental Illness in Supported Employment– This study is to examine whether higher level of self-efficacy increases one’s likelihood of gaining and maintaining employment for people in community supported employment. 

In this study, 100 participants will be recruited from several community Supported Employment programs in New Jersey. The individuals who agree to participate will meet with research staff at baseline regarding the following: 1) demographic information, 2) symptoms, 3) past work experience, 4) a career interest inventory, and 5) assessment of their level of self-efficacy. Research staff will meet with the individuals for follow-up assessments at 6-month and 12-month. These follow-up assessments will collect data about employment activity during the preceding 6 months in addition to assessing symptoms and self-efficacy. The information will be collected and analyzed to determine if self-efficacy related variables are predicative of employment success.The study is still recruiting participants as of May 2012.    

Principle investigator (PI), William Waynor,Co-PI, Ni Gao, Co-PI, Joni Dolce, and Ann Reilly. Research Assistant, Christina Serrano 

The Impact of Self-Help Center Characteristics on the Satisfaction and Empowerment of People with Serious Mental Illness- The primary aim of this study is to see if specific aspects of the Self-help Centers increase participant empowerment and satisfaction. The researchers believe that they do and if they’re shown to be right, it will allow for the development of strategies to improve self-help center operations The data collection is completed.  21 self-help centers and over 200 individuals participated in the study.  Data analysis is under way. 

Principle investigator (PI): Ni Gao

Understanding the Barriers to Mental Health Services Among Chinese American Consumers- This study is intended to better understand some concerns among Chinese/Asian American mental health consumers including lower utilization of outpatient services, higher drop-out rate after first visit, and higher suicidal rate among females.  The findings of the study may help develop effective interventions to overcome the barriers and achieve better service outcomes among Chinese/Asian consumers.

The study is still in the planning stage.  Collaboratation with a NAMINJ group CAMHOP (Chinese American Mental Health Outreach Program) is planned to conduct one to two focus groups on this topic.  It is anticipated to begin this fall.                                                                                                                

Principle investigator (PI): Ni Gao

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