What is IPS?2022-07-13T18:43:40+00:00

What is IPS?

Individual Placement and Support (IPS) is a model of supported employment for people with serious mental illness (e.g., schizophrenia spectrum disorder, bipolar, depression). IPS supported employment helps people living with behavioral health conditions work at regular jobs of their choosing. Although variations of supported employment exist, IPS refers to the evidence-based practice of supported employment. Mainstream education and technical training are included as ways to advance career paths. IPS is based on 8 principles.

Bob Drake and Debbie Becker
Bob Drake and Debbie BeckerFounders of IPS

Learn more with our introductory PowerPoint:

The 8 principles of IPS

Competitive Employment

Competitive Employment

Jobs anyone can apply for, pay at least minimum wage/same pay as coworkers with similar duties, and have no artificial time limits imposed by the social service agency.

Systematic Job Development

Systematic Job Development

Employment specialists systematically visit employers, who are selected based on the job seeker’s preferences, to learn about their business needs and hiring preferences.

Rapid Job Search

Rapid Job Search

IPS programs use a rapid job search approach to help job seekers obtain jobs rather than assessments, training, & counseling. The first face to face contact with the employer occurs within 30 days.

Integrated Services

Integrated Services

IPS programs are integrated with mental health treatment teams. Employment specialists attach to 1 or 2 mental health
treatment teams, which discuss their caseload.

Benefits Planning

Benefits Planning

Employment specialists help people obtain personalized, understandable, and accurate information about their Social Security, Medicaid, and other government entitlements.

Zero Exclusion

Zero Exclusion

People are not excluded on the basis of readiness, diagnoses, symptoms, substance use history, psychiatric hospitalizations, homelessness, level of disability, or legal system involvement.

Time-Unlimited Supports

Time-Unlimited Supports

Job supports are individualized and continue for as long as each worker wants and needs the support. Employment Specialist have face to face contact at least monthly.

Worker Preferences

Worker Preferences

IPS program services are based on each job seeker’s preferences and choices rather than the employment specialist’s and supervisor’s judgments.

Why Focus On Employment?

  • Viewed by many as an essential part of recovery

  • Most consumers want to work

  • A typical role for adults in our society

  • Cost-effective alternative to day treatment

“I want to work because I don’t want to be in this [psychosocial rehab] program when I am old.”

Effects of Unemployment

  • Increased substance abuse

  • Increased psychiatric disorders

  • Reduced self-esteem

  • Alienation

“Now that I am working again I can buy my daughter presents.”

Benefits of Employment

  • Increased income

  • Improved self-esteem

  • Increased social and quality of life

  • Better control of symptoms

  • Reduced substance use

  • Reduced hospitalization

“I worried that if my son got a job he would get stressed.  But just the opposite happened.  He is doing so much better than before.”

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Policy Bulletins About the Need for IPS


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