As supported employment and education services at Family & Children’s Services continue to grow, the team is witnessing many successes with helping clients find and keep jobs. Individual Placement & Support (IPS) Supported Employment is an evidence-based approach to supported employment for people living with behavioral health conditions. IPS supports helps people work at regular jobs of their choosing. Mainstream education and technical training are included as way to advance career paths.
For example, one client with co-occurring schizophrenia spectrum disorder and substance use disorder found rapid help from his IPS employment specialist. When first meeting with her, the client stated his dream job was working on cars because he has worked on cars with his grandfather and always loved doing this type of work.
The specialist helped client build resume and develop a job search plan, including finding local tire shops and a job support plan to discuss how the client would use his own resources and the specialists’ resources. The search began and the client and clinician decided to go to the closest tire shop first. To the client’s amazement, he was hired on the spot and was asked to start the following Monday. He did not have a lot of confidence in the beginning but with support and guidance he got a job unexpectedly quickly.
A young client kept his job through his first psychotic episode, and with IPS advocacy, has built back to full time after a leave of absence. His psychotic break was now a year and a half ago, and he maintains his recovery. Another client went through several jobs quickly, but with time-unlimited support from IPS, has now kept a job for a whole week.
A woman who has been coming for services for the past 9 months found a job in the suburban town where she was moving. Being nervous about the move, knowing she had a job waiting for her made a big difference in coping with the stress.
With the Individual Placement and Support team expanded, services are available to clients not only in NAVIGATE but also in the CCBHC, Assisted Outpatient Treatment grant, and the SOR Opioid grant.
According to national research, 63% of clients with severe mental illness want to work, but less than 20% employed. With that statistic in mind, F&CS leadership will continue to support the implementation of IPS.
F&CS’s CEO Gail Lapidus says that IPS’s core mission of connecting individuals with serious mental illness to employment aligns with the agency’s mission, vision and values. “IPS is an effective employment program for persons with serious mental illness , as demonstrated in numerous clinical studies. IPS is in alignment with our organization’s commitment to recovery and assisting our clients to live fully in the community. Access to quality employment services is a key component to achieving this goal. We are expanding the IPS program to serve more individuals.”