What is the Supported Education program?
As many of us know, the process of navigating the higher education system can be a daunting and sometimes overwhelming experience. Many of the individuals Jackson County Mental Health (JCMH) serves have struggled to navigate these systems and face unique obstacles and challenges to completing their education. The vision of the Supported Education (SEd) Program at Jackson County Mental Health is to create the conditions through which an individual can access and deepen their own recovery. We help to support and guide the individuals we serve in pursuing and reaching their educational goals.
Supported Education Services officially opened at JCMH in August 2014 to support current clients who were pursuing higher education at Rogue Community College and Southern Oregon University. Jackson County Mental Health follows two models, University of Kansas Supported Education Model and SAMHSA. Both models provide a framework to guide our interventions and services. The JCMH Supported Education Program was initially funded through a block grant provided by Oregon Health Authority, but we were recently approved to encounter supported education services under Medicaid, making this program sustainable beyond the duration of the grant.
As of January 2016, the program has provided supported education services to 59 JCMH clients. Vanessa Taylor, our Supported Education Specialist, is currently working with 26 clients who are either actively pursuing a higher education program at RCC or SOU or in the process of enrolling in classes.
Chris Austin’s success story (see downloadable file below) was shared at the annual Oregon Supported Employment/Education Center for Excellence (OSECE) Conference in September 2015. We appreciate and applaud his courage in sharing his story.