Discrimination of people with mental health difficulties is a real obstacle to finding and keeping meaningful employment. Misconceptions and low expectations can impact on recruitment and hiring opportunities. However, employment can reduce and/or stabilise symptoms, reduce hospital admissions, increase self-worth and provide an increased disposable income for those with a lived experience of mental health difficulties. 

Individual Placement and Support (IPS) Employment model

IPS Supported Employment is an evidence-based approach to supported employment for people who have a severe mental health difficulty. IPS supports people in their efforts to achieve steady employment in mainstream competitive jobs, either part-time or full-time. This stands in contrast to other vocational rehabilitation approaches that employ people in sheltered workshops and other set-aside jobs.

IPS services are based on individual preferences. A genuine desire and motivation to seek employment is the main criteria for people wanting to obtain their ideal job. Within the IPS model an individual's personal interests, strengths, skills and experience are explored.

Core IPS practice principles

  1. Eligibility is based on individual preferences and choice

  2. Supported employment is integrated with mental health treatment

  3. Competitive employment is the primary goal

  4. Rapid job search is enacted (preferably within first 4 weeks)

  5. Benefits Counselling is provided

  6. Employment specialists systematically develop integrated relationships (with employers and MH teams)

  7. Support is time unlimited and individualised

  8. Client preferences are honored


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