As we transform Aotearoa’s mental health and addiction system, we need to honour people’s employment aspirations.
Integrating employment support in mental health and addiction services is key.
However, access to this support varies across the country.
Current integrated employment support in DHB mental health services
Insights MSD study: new findings
A recent evaluation by Insights MSD found that individual placement and support (IPS) employment support services in Aotearoa are:
- reaching people who experience the largest employment inequities.
Work Counts has been working with the IPS employment support national steering group to provide an up-to-date picture of IPS employment support coverage by district health board (DHB).
View the above map of current coverage of IPS employment support integrated with secondary mental health and addiction services.
Only half of our DHBs have some employment support integrated with mental health and addiction teams.
Even in regions with IPS employment support, coverage is only fair or low except for four regions (Northland, Lakes, Taranaki, and Nelson/Marlborough).
Working together to increase access to IPS employment support
Increasing access to IPS employment support is a priority action in Working Matters, the Disability Employment Action plan.
We will only be able to achieve this with:
- health, employment and welfare collaborating and investing together
- a combination of local, regional and centrally driven actions.
This is crucial to ensuring the quality of personalised employment assistance as we scale up access.
Here are some ways we could achieve better access.
- Locally – DHB planners and funders could contract existing employment support providers to deliver IPS integrated employment support.
- Regionally – MSD regional commissioners could contract IPS employment support, either to start up IPS employment support in an area or to build on existing DHB-funded IPS employment support.
- Centrally – there could be investment in funding fidelity reviews for all IPS employment support services and national data collection. This has been effective in Australia and the UK.
Working together to make it happen
We really do have the chance here to scale up access to IPS employment support, particularly if we all work together to make it happen.