Mental Health and Suicide Prevention in the Workplace
December 9 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
The unemployment rate in Utah is at 4.1% (DWS 8/2020) and the challenge for people with disabilities seeking employment is formidable with an unemployment rate of 14.3% (US Dept. of Labor 8/2020). According to SAMHSA Uniform Reporting System, 80.7% of individuals with mental illness in Utah are unemployed and approximately 60% want to work. Our pain is that individuals who are not gainfully employed in integrated and competitive employment have an increased risk of isolation, marginalization, poverty, and stigma. People with mental illnesses who are working in integrated and competitive employment have a greater sense of purpose, higher self-worth, decreased symptoms, and opportunities for social acceptance. Our desired condition is for the business community, advocates, and agency partners working together to ensure people with mental illnesses and co-occurring substance use disorders receive supported employment services and engage in meaningful employment.
The Mental Health and Suicide Prevention in the Workplace presentation will address the following:
· Signs and symptoms of some mental illnesses
· How to hire and retain people with mental illnesses & substance use/misuse disorders
· Reasonable accommodations
· Suicide prevention in the workplace
· COVID-19 and decreasing stress during the pandemic
Resources will be given during the presentation.
Sharon Cook, MSC, LVRC, CRC, CCC
Sharon is a Program Administrator for Supported Employment and Recovery & Resiliency Peer Support with the Utah Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health (DSAMH). As an Administrator for Supported Employment, Sharon oversees programs that assist individuals who have serious mental illnesses and co-occurring disorders obtain and maintain employment. She is the evidence-based Individual Placement and Support (IPS)/Supported Employment state-wide trainer. In addition, Sharon conducts mental health and substance use disorder awareness training for employers, stakeholders, state agencies, and community partners. As the Recovery & Resiliency Peer Support Administrator, Sharon provides supervision at the Division level, manages certification, fosters advocacy, and assists with Utah’s Peer Support movement within mental health and substance use disorders providers. Prior to her administering at DSAMH, Sharon was a Business Relations Specialist for Utah State Office of Rehabilitation. As a Business Relations Specialist, she provided statewide disability-related training to businesses and assisted with their hiring and retaining of people with disabilities. Sharon received a Bachelor’s Degree in Family Studies from Weber State University and a Masters Degree in Mental Health Counseling from the University of Phoenix. She is a Licensed Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor and a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor. Sharon is a member of the Disability:IN Steering Committee, Governor’s Committee on Employment for People with Disabilities, National Rehabilitation Association, Utah Rehabilitation Association, Utah Job Placement and Development, Utah’s Employment First State Leadership Mentoring Program, US Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy Vision Quest (Utah’s co-lead), Utah Department of Corrections Employment and Education subcommittee, Association of Community Rehabilitation Educators, Vocational Rehabilitation Supported Employment Focus Group, Chamber of Commerce’s Workforce Development Committee, Brain Injury Alliance of Utah’s Council Employment and Education subcommittee, and she is the Chair of DSAMH’s Supported Employment Coordinating Committee, a Train-the-Trainer for WorkingMinds Suicide Prevention in the Workplace as well as a Certified Train-the-Trainer for Rocky Mountain Americans with Disabilities Act Center. Sharon is passionate about assisting people with mental illnesses and co-occurring substance use disorders to obtain and retain competitive and integrated employment!