Employment in mind

12 April 2016

The Poppy Factory employability service and veterans with mental health conditions

Stephany Carolan

12 April 2016

Ex-Service personnel with a serious mental health condition are nearly three times more likely to find and stay in work if they are supported through Individual Placement and Support (IPS), according to this new report.

Commissioned by The Poppy Factory and funded by Forces in Mind Trust, Employment in mind explores the barriers to employment faced by ex-Service personnel, and how these can be overcome. 

Armed Forces veterans face a range of challenges in gaining and maintaining employment. These include inadequate preparation for civilian employment, difficulties adjusting to new workplace cultures, and assumptions among employers about veterans’ mental health and the employability of those with a mental health condition.

“The civilian world is not an easy world to live in. The Army is a bubble; your whole world is kept in there. But as soon as you leave, you’re on your own. To adjust to the civilian life was so daunting, and it’s difficult to integrate yourself in the civilian world, the way they operate.”

The report finds that IPS is more effective than the other main approach of getting people into work: the ‘train then place’ model, which involves training, development and sheltered work before placing the person in paid employment. IPS, in contrast, gets people into competitive employment first with training and support provided ‘on the job’. 

The report identifies the IPS model as the most effective way of supporting wounded, injured or sick veterans into employment. It shows that:

  • The employment rate for IPS is twice that of usual high quality vocational support for people with serious mental illness
  • Veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder are nearly three times more likely get into open employment if they access IPS instead of supported employment

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