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IPS Internationally

Empowering Individuals Globally

The Impact and Origins of Individual Placement and Support (IPS) in Supported Employment

Written by chatGPT

Individual Placement and Support (IPS) is an innovative approach to employment support that has gained recognition and implementation worldwide. With its origins rooted in the United States, IPS has had a transformative impact on individuals with mental health conditions, promoting their inclusion in the workforce and fostering their overall well-being.

Originating in the 1980s, IPS emerged as a response to the prevailing challenges faced by individuals living with mental health conditions in accessing meaningful employment opportunities. Traditional approaches often emphasized sheltered workshops or segregated employment settings, which limited the potential for personal growth, independence, and community integration.

IPS revolutionized the field by adopting a person-centered and evidence-based approach to supported employment. It recognizes that individuals with mental health conditions have unique talents, skills, and aspirations, and that gainful employment can contribute significantly to their recovery journey.

At the core of IPS is the philosophy that employment should be an attainable goal for everyone, regardless of their mental health history. It promotes the belief that individuals have the right to work in competitive, integrated settings alongside their peers without disabilities. IPS embraces the principles of choice, individualized support, and ongoing engagement to help individuals achieve their vocational goals.

The impact of IPS has been felt globally, as its implementation has spread to numerous countries and cultures. Across different societies, IPS has proven to be a powerful catalyst for positive change. It has shattered the stigma associated with mental health conditions, allowing individuals to showcase their abilities and talents in the workplace. By creating opportunities for employment, IPS promotes economic independence, enhances self-esteem, and nurtures a sense of belonging within communities.

Moreover, IPS has demonstrated its effectiveness in improving mental health outcomes. Research consistently shows that individuals who participate in IPS experience higher rates of employment, longer job tenure, increased job satisfaction, and reduced hospitalization and symptom severity. By integrating employment support into mental health services, IPS has revolutionized the way we approach recovery, emphasizing the essential role of work in promoting overall well-being.

As the demand for inclusive employment practices continues to grow globally, IPS remains at the forefront of this movement. Its person-centered approach, rooted in collaboration, respect, and empowerment, serves as a beacon of hope for individuals seeking meaningful employment opportunities.

In summary, Individual Placement and Support (IPS) is a groundbreaking approach to supported employment that has transformed the lives of individuals with mental health conditions. With its international reach, IPS has shattered barriers, empowered individuals, and fostered social inclusion. By promoting the right to work and providing individualized support, IPS paves the way for a more inclusive and equitable society where everyone has the opportunity to thrive.

Sharing ideas, learning together

The International IPS Learning Community

In December 2017, New Zealand joined the International IPS Learning Community to learn from other countries, and to share experiences.

The process of joining the community was led by Work Counts, in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Social Development.

The learning community now has members from the United States, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Canada, England, France and New Zealand. The community includes IPS trainers, mental health leaders, family leaders and employers who all work together to better the way employment support services operate to improve people’s lives.

The Asia-Pacific IPS Learning Community

In 2023, Work Counts started working with other organisations on an Asia-Pacific IPS Learning Community as a special opportunity to connect, learn and collaborate with other countries in our region that provide IPS employment support.

The Asia Pacific region varies in area depending on the context, but it often includes countries in East and Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand and Pacific Island states. A learning community is a group of people who share a common interest. They interact with each other to exchange ideas and information and provide mutual support.

Alongside Work Counts, members of the steering group are: headspace, Orygen, Western Australian Association for Mental Health (WAAMH), (AU) and Workwise (NZ).

Are you working with IPS employment support in the Asia-Pacific region and interested in being part of the learning community?

Join here! 

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