Project Description Narrative:
Wisconsin Works (W-2) is a Wisconsin Department of Children and Families program that provides employment preparation services, case management, and cash assistance to parents and pregnant women who are low income. Data has shown that poverty in adulthood is linked to depressive disorders, anxiety disorders, and psychological distress, making it very difficult to secure employment let alone maintain employment. Although participants are surveyed at intake regarding their mental health needs, there has been no emphasis on how participants' mental health needs impact their ability to attain and retain employment while enrolled in W-2.
This project will integrate the trauma-screening, brief intervention and referral to treatment (T-SBIRT) protocol into case management processes to promote participants' resilience in responding to trauma, accessing mental health services, managing emotions with healthy coping skills, and success in obtaining and retaining employment. During the first year, T-SBIRT will be piloted in Ashland and Eau Claire Counties with the goal to expand to 14 additional counties (Barron, Bayfield, Burnett, Chippewa, Clark, Douglas, Dunn, Iron, Pierce, Polk, Rusk, Sawyer, St. Croix and Washburn).