Becoming Employed Starts Today (BEST)

Jan 2021 |
Online Library
Program Evaluation

Becoming Employed Starts Today (BEST) was a federally funded, five-year pilot program that offered evidence-based supported employment services to individuals with severe mental illness and co-occurring substance disorders at four community-based mental health sites. This report summarizes the results of an evaluation of BEST, which compared outcomes for 362 individuals who enrolled in BEST between March 2015 and September 2018 at two program sites—one rural, one urban—to a statistically matched comparison group. BEST participation was associated with significant improvements in employment rates, average hours worked, and average number of quarters employed. BEST also reduced arrest rates and increased participation in Washington State's food assistance program, Medicaid, and mental health services. BEST participants also reported reductions in psychological distress and institutionalizations/homelessness, and improvements in overall functioning in daily life, employment rates, and school attendance compared to baseline.

Report and/or Additional Information: