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Employment embodies recovery for people with a mental health or substance use issue.

Oklahoma employs the evidence-based model of Individual Placement and Support (IPS) to help unemployed young adults and others find suitable employment.

Individual Placement and Support (IPS) is a model of supported employment for people with serious mental illness (e.g., schizophrenia spectrum disorder, bipolar, depression). IPS supported employment helps people living with behavioral health conditions work at regular jobs of their choosing. Although variations of supported employment exist, IPS refers to the evidence-based practice of supported employment.

NextGen Study

If you’re interesting in participating in the NextGen study, please contact Kurstyn Ciancio at (405) 343-3909 or by email:

You may be eligible to participate in a study called NextGen that offers free employment services through Central Oklahoma Community Mental Health Center (COCMHC). These services could help you find a job.

If you participate in the study, you may be eligible to receive other services you might need from COCMHC like mental health treatment and housing assistance.

Everyone who participates will get employment services, but different people will get different services. Which type of services you get will be decided randomly — like flipping a coin. If you participate in the study, we will also ask you for permission to collect some information about you.

Central Oklahoma Community Mental Health Center (COCMHC) serves the Norman community. Their mission is to join with individuals, families and communities to encourage hope, recovery and wellness.

You may be eligible for the study if you:

  1. Have been involved with the justice system in the past year
  2. Are at least 18 years old
  3. Are interested in working at a job in the Norman area and are not employed now (other than odd jobs that don’t guarantee weekly hours)
  4. Are allowed to work according to probation, parole or other court-ordered rules

Advancing State Policy Integration for Recovery and Employment (ASPIRE)

ASPIRE is the Advancing State Policy Integration for Recovery and Employment initiative was awarded to Oklahoma in March 2021. This project is a statewide initiative that is geared toward bringing key stakeholders together to advance state policy regarding using employment though competitive integrated employment as a recovery tool. Oklahoma was chosen as one of seven states nationwide. Key agencies participating include ODMHSAS, Oklahoma Healthcare Authority, NAMIOK, Oklahoma Department of Veteran Affairs, Oklahoma Rehabilitation Council, Department of Rehabilitation Services, Oklahoma Office of Workforce Development, Oklahoma Employment Security Commission and Oklahoma State Department of Education.  If you would like to learn more or join these monthly strategy sessions, please contact Suzanne Williams at

Building Evidence on Employment Strategies (BEES)

BEES is the Building Evidence on Employment Strategies for Low Income Families and launched in June 2021 at 12 & 12 in Tulsa.  BEES is using IPS to help those leaving inpatient substance abuse services reconnect with employment with the supports for a successful transition.  To learn more, contact Dustin Bailey at

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