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What is IPS?
IPS is the approach to helping people with a serious mental illness to get and to keep paid employment. IPS works better for these people than other reintegration methods do.
People with a serious mental illness who are receiving treatment and want to start work can be helped to do this by the Individual Placement and Support (IPS) programme. An IPS specialist will help them to look for, find and keep employment. People who are having problems at work due to their mental illness can also use the IPS services to help them keep their job.
Being in employment helps people with a mental illness with their recovery. Employment brings an income and financial independence, social contacts, satisfaction, personal respect and new experiences along with it. It can be an important source of support for self-respect and for structure and routine in daily life.
Who is eligible for IPS?
People with a serious mental illness who are receiving treatment from a mental health care team. Anyone who wants to get into employment can take part in the IPS programme.
How does IPS work?
If a mental health care agency offers IPS, then the treatment team also includes an IPS specialist. In the event that a client indicates that they want to enter the job market, an appointment with the IPS specialist is made. Other members of the treatment team also know what the aims in the area of employment are, and help to carry out the work plan.
Direct placement, and then training (if necessary)
The preference is to find a full-time or part-time job that anyone can apply for and that pays you at least the minimum wage. With IPS, the principle ‘first place, then train’ applies. The aim is to find employment that suits the qualities and preferences of the individual. The job is started straight away. If it is necessary, training at work will follow. In accordance with the principles of IPS, training or tests before starting are not always necessary.
When a job has been found, the employee will be supported at work. The preferences, strong points, experiences and needs of the employee will lead the way in making choices and decisions about the job and the required period of support. Support to the employer can also be provided.
The IPS specialist will also help by answering questions about the effect the job will have on the benefit payments and allowance of the employee. In consultation with the job seeker, the IPS specialist can contact the relevant authority, for example an employment specialist at the Employment Insurance Agency (UWV) or a local government client manager.