Outcomes of an individual placement and support programme incorporating principles of the collaborative recovery model Academic Article uri icon


  • INTRODUCTION:Engaging in employment enhances mental health recovery and is therefore of central focus for many occupational therapists working in mental health. Individual placement and support (IPS) is an evidence-based, supported employment model specifically designed for individuals with severe mental illness who have the desire to work. Despite strong support for IPS in Australia, implementation challenges have been encountered. This study evaluates outcomes achieved by participants engaged with WorkWell, an IPS programme delivered by a large Australian non-government organisation. In addition to following IPS principles, WorkWell was informed by principles of the collaborative recovery model (CRM). METHOD:De-identified outcomes data for each participant were analysed by an independent research team. The proportion of individuals engaged with the programme who achieved a competitive employment placement was calculated. Average employment duration and weekly wages were calculated for individuals who achieved a competitive employment placement. Finally, the proportion of individuals who achieved some form of vocationally relevant outcome was calculated. RESULTS:Ninety-seven participants were engaged with the programme. Forty-eight participants (49.5%) gained a competitive employment position. Average employment duration was 151 days (21.6 weeks) and average weekly wage was $478. Overall, 62 participants (63.9%) were supported to achieve some kind of vocationally relevant outcome (e.g. competitive employment, education, work trial or voluntary work) as a result of their engagement with the programme. CONCLUSION:While the addition of CRM principles appears to have supported positive outcomes for participants, especially in terms of employment duration, results for employment placement rates were lower than expected. While the employment placement rate compares favourably to results from the international literature and numerous programmes in Australia, more development is required to increase the proportion of individuals who are supported into competitive employment positions. Future research should focus on the specific elements of CRM that most contribute to enhancing IPS processes.

publication date

  • 2019