Greatra Mayana

Career & Employment Opportunities

Individual Placement and Support offers route to employment for people with severe mental illness

>>Anne Rackham: The IPS service is an employment
support service for people with severe and enduring mental illness. It’s a service that’s
integrated into community mental health services, so the employment specialists work alongside
the clinicians and the CMHTs (community mental health teams) to help service users find and
retain employment. What we’ve found is that looking at employment
and finding employment gives the person a real role, a purpose in their life and is
a real intrinsic tool for recovery and that enables them to be able to provide for themselves
and their families and also gives them a purpose in the day to be able to go forward and have
connections in the community and feel a role in society.>>Lucy Anson-Golding: Employment specialists
are embedded into each community mental health team. They work alongside fellow clinicians
such as psychiatrists, CPNs (community psychiatric nurse), social workers, support workers to
holistically support an individual. IPS employment specialist, a key part is that
there is zero exclusion so you’d work with a myriad of different conditions. I’ve supported
people with schizophrenia, personality disorder, anxiety, severe depression. Something that differentiates IPS employment
specialists is that they have a reduced caseload so that they’re able to spend more time and
work intensively with individuals. So they have a maximum caseload of 20, maximum 25
service users at any one time. Following completion of the vocational profile,
when I meet with a service user, each time we meet we’d complete an action plan, a vocational
action plan, which enables the service user to have responsibility for their employment
journey, so there’d be actions for myself as the employment specialist such as going
to liaise with various employers on their behalf potentially and there’d be actions
for the service user to go away and look at producing the beginnings of a CV for us to
review together, to look at potential job descriptions for a role that they’re interested
in. A key part of an employment specialist’s role
is that they go out and engage with employers face to face, so not everything is done online,
an awful amount of jobs are unadvertised and that’s where IPS differs from other models
of supported employment in that they go out and engage with employers face to face to
really sell the strengths and the skills of the service user. A massive thing that I think differentiates
IPS is that, a key part is ongoing follow-on support  because it’s a huge journey to get
someone into support but actually not a lot of resource is dedicated to maintaining that
employment and that’s where IPS differs in that it helps someone by providing follow-on
ongoing support, time unlimited, that they can sustain that employment and we don’t always
stay in the same jobs forever – if they would like to change jobs and progress, that sort
of thing, you can support with that.>>Anne Rackham: We’ve been really fortunate
in Northamptonshire to have an IPS pilot that’s been running which has showed us the real
benefits. It’s given us a really good understanding of the service and lead us to be in a position
to work with our CCG colleagues to bid for further funding and we were successful in
that funding, we’re really excited about the prospect of having a wider service, a bigger
service so that we can have more consistent cover across the organisation and we can see
the real benefits of having that service there for service users.

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