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IPS supported education
As well as offering support in finding and staying in employment, IPS can also be used as a method of helping people to get into, or to resume, training and education: IPS supported education. Psychiatric illnesses such as psychoses often manifest themselves for the first time during adolescence or in young adulthood. Young people are still finding their way in society through training or education. Often a course of study is not completed because they do not get the right support during the illness.
Intervention at an early stage
IPS support in education can take place either prior to or during the process of finding employment. It helps to limit the drop-out rate as much as possible and to offer these young people good prospects for the future. IPS supported education can support young patients in finishing their education or training and bring their starting qualifications up to a level appropriate to them. There is a clear connection between IPS targeted at work and IPS supported education. The first results of a study on the extension of IPS principles to supported education specifically concerning the group of young patients in the early stages of an illness are positive (Nuechterlein e.a., 2008).
The multidisciplinary guideline on schizophrenia (Van Alphen et al., 2012) concludes ‘… it is likely that an IPS intervention in which supported employment is combined with supported education will be effective in helping young patients with schizophrenia who have recently experienced their first psychotic episode to resume education or employment.’
IPS supported education and Supported learning
Supported learning is a method based on the Individual Rehabilitation Approach (IRB) method that supports young people with a mental illness in the ‘looking for, choosing, getting and keeping’ of regular education or course of training. IRB also offers opportunities to make the connection between learning and working. The main difference with Supported learning is the greater emphasis placed by IPS supported education on the integrated approach to treatment and employment and/or learning. This approach makes IPS targeted at work so effective in people with severe psychiatric illness. This is expected to apply to IPS supported education in young patients too.