Employment key to mental health and addiction recovery

Most people accessing mental health and addiction services say that they consider employment as key to their recovery.

Yet unemployment rates remain high for people with mental health and addiction issues.

Given the strong evidence base supporting the individual placement and support (IPS) approach, NHS England has set a target for 55,000 people with severe mental illness to have access to employment support each year, up from just 10,000 per year in 2017.

IPS Grow - Our Impact & Learning

Investment in support infrastructure

As well as investing in IPS employment support services, there has been investment in building the infrastructure to support effective implementation including:

  • UK government jointly-commissioned technical implementation support
  • workforce development
  • performance monitoring.

IPS Grow leads a partnership developing the support infrastructure and is therefore very similar in its role to Work Counts.

Employment support integrated with mental health and addiction care and treatment

IPS Grow works in collaboration with people with lived experience, IPS employment support providers, mental health and addiction clinical providers and central government agencies for health, work and welfare.

The focus is to effectively integrate employment support with mental health and addiction care and treatment teams. This ensures consistent, high-quality IPS employment programmes which support people with mental health and addiction issues to fulfil their employment aspirations.

Reflecting on learning and impact

IPS Grow has published Our Impact & Learning to share learnings from this implementation of high-quality employment support across the country.

Some highlights include:

  • the establishment of a team of IPS implementation managers (“IPS Grow Leads”)
  • IPS implementation managers working in each region to help establish new IPS employment support services or to enable existing IPS employment support services to further develop their practices and improve outcomes
  • a robust network of high-quality IPS employment support providers, supported by communities of practice to share learnings and resources
  • data tools and performance standards
  • tools for recruitment, supervision and training of employment consultants
  • guidance for commissioners to plan for and purchase IPS employment support programmes
  • ongoing fidelity reviews to ensure quality assurance across all IPS programmes
  • a coordinated cross-government approach to IPS employment support scale-up, which reviews progress and informs key policy decisions.

Find out more