What is IPS?

Individual Placement and Support (IPS) is an approach to help people with mental health problems and/or addictions who want to find and sustain work.

The service is integrated with mental health, addiction or other health treatment teams.

  • The approach is based on 8 evidence based principles.
  • The approach is internationally recognised as the most effective way to support individuals to secure and sustain employment.

Who is the IPS service for?

The IPS service is available to anyone accessing the mental health and/or addictions treatment teams where employment specialists are based. It’s for anyone who wants to find work.

Talk to your care coordinator/consultant/key worker about seeing an employment specialist based in your treatment team.

How does it work?

  1. Your IPS employment specialist (ES) will talk to you about your employment goals.
  2. You’ll work together to update your CV and look for work. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been out of work for 6 weeks or 6 years, the ES will support you.
  3. With your input and consent your ES can approach employers on your behalf  and identify vacancies which have not been advertised.
  4. Once you have found a job your ES and care team will continue to support you to stay in work.

Is work good for your health?

Many clients say that finding a job has helped improve their mental health and/or manage their addiction.

Employment not only provides an income and routine, but it also supports us to build a social network, confidence, develop new skills and build self-esteem.

Studies around the world demonstrate that being employed can have a positive effect on mental health and wellbeing.

Read about IPS studies and research here

Will it affect my benefits?

Your Employment Specialist will support you to receive benefits advice via a ‘Better Off Calculation’ through Jobcentre Plus. 

You should be able to work for up to 16 hours weekly and earn up to £101 a week for one year without losing benefits. See the DWP website for more details.

It is very rare for anyone to be worse off when they come off benefits, and it might be possible to go on receiving some of them.

My life’s improved loads because I now look after my finances, I’ve learned to deal with my anxiety on public transport – don’t get scared in crowds anymore. I’m me old self again, not letting myself go. I got paid today for the first time in years. Today I feel okay about my future, more relaxed, more calm, a lot better.

IPS Client

What should I expect?

  • An employment support experience tailored to you and your individual needs.
  • A focus on your strengths, skills, and aspirations.
  • Your mental health/addictions team ensuring care and treatment plans are aligned with employment support plans.
  • Knowledge that an evidence-based model is being used to support you.

Will I still be supported once I’ve secured a job?

Yes. Part of the IPS approach is to support you to sustain employment. Your ES will work closely with your health treatment team and employer, to ensure care and treatment plans are aligned with your employment support plans.

How do I access employment support providers who offer the IPS approach?

Talk to your care coordinator/consultant/key worker about seeing an employment specialist based in your treatment team.