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November 16, 2015

LifeLinks of Coles County Set to Expand Employment Support Program

Pictured (L-R): Kristen Pierce (Employment Specialist) and Lynette Ashmore (LifeLinks Executive Director) were presented with a Mattoon Area CommunityWorks grant by Clay Dean, member of the Mattoon Area Community Foundation board.

LifeLinks Mental Health (also known as the Coles County Mental Health Association, Inc.) has received a $1,505 grant from the Mattoon Area CommunityWorks Fund for the expansion of its Individual Placement and Support (IPS) program.

The Individual Placement and Support program is service that provides consumers in community mental health services to become a part of the competitive labor market. Consumers work one-on-one with an employment specialist to complete a career assessment and determine his or her specific employment preferences and needs. Employment specialists work with consumers to apply for jobs and prepare for interviews and then continue to provide their support to the consumer in order to maintain successful employment.

The Individual Placement and Support expansion will provide support for young adults ages 17-25 who are not college bound and are not prepared for the competitive labor market. In this program, young consumers will learn the skills necessary to enter and succeed in the work place, develop individualized career clans, and learn to address work-related dilemmas. The extension of the program will serve approximately 50 adolescents and young adults.

LifeLinks’ is committed to responding to the needs of consumers, their families, and the community by providing high-quality and cost-effective outpatient behavioral health serves oriented toward the recovery of its consumers.

The Mattoon Area CommunityWorks Fund is one of the grant-making funds managed by the Southeastern Illinois Community Foundation. For more information, contact Janeen Emory-Kolb at 217-342-4988 or by e-mail (

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