The most well-established method of 'place then train' in mental health is Individual Placement and Support (IPS). IPS has been shown to be more effective the more closely it follows these eight principles:
The source of these principles is the Dartmouth IPS Supported Employment Center website
A Fidelity Review is a way of checking the extent to which a service is follows these principles.
There is now overwhelming international evidence that 'place then train' models are much more effective than traditional approaches such as vocational training and sheltered work in successfully getting people into work.
The EQOLISE project (Burns et al 2007) compared IPS with other vocational / rehabilitation services in six European countries. It concluded that:
We have selected nine sites to be new Centres of Excellence in supporting people who use mental health services into employment.
Implementation of the IPS approach in the UK is patchy and few places have achieved high fidelity to the model. Practitioners in the USA have been implementing IPS programmes since 2001. State Trainers there are proven to increase paid work outcomes for clients with severe and enduring mental illness. The success of these posts in the US has lead to the creation of a similar post in Sussex.
The Sussex post is the first of its kind in the UK and will provide an opportunity to test an approach to accelerating the implementation of IPS across Sussex. The post aims to build sustainable, high performing (high fidelity) supported employment services across Sussex and increase the numbers of people found competitive jobs from 125 to 200.
This post is being run in partnership by Centre for Mental Health, Southdown Supported Employment and Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.
For more information, contact Becky Priest, Regional Training & Development Manager for IPS in Sussex, on 020 7827 8309 or email email@example.com.
Professor Robert Drake is Professor of Psychiatry and of Community and Family Medicine at Dartmouth Medical School, New Hampshire, USA. He gave our lecture in March 2008 about the future of supported employment.