Individual Placement and Support (IPS) is an evidence-based approach to supported employment for people who have an enduring mental health difficulty. IPS supports people in their efforts to achieve steady employment in mainstream competitive jobs, either part-time or full-time based on individual preferences.

"People living with mental illness are nine times more likely to be out of the labour force than their peers of a working age, while up to 50% of people living with a mental illness expressed interest in returning to work if the conditions were right to do so." James Creasey Ocupational Therapy Manager, HSE Cork-Kerry Mental Health Services

The main criteria for people wanting to participate in an IPS programme is a genuine desire and motivation to seek employment. Through IPS an individual's personal interests, strengths, skills and experience are explored with an IPS employment specialist who is embedded within the local mental health team. This stands in contrast to other vocational rehabilitation approaches that employ people in sheltered workshops and other set-aside jobs. Not only does evidence indicate significantly better employment outcomes for IPS participants but also points to improved mental health and reduced medical interventions.

IPS is now being successfully rolled out across Ireland with high demand for the service nationally. An evaluation of the IPS programme in Ireland has been commissioned and is being undertaken in 2020.

The films below demonstrate the implementation and impact of IPS in Ireland.

Complex Systems Change

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