The Individual Placement Services (IPS) program is committed to finding competitive employment for clients with serious mental illness seeking employment. The IPS program is closely integrated with all mental health treatment teams. The services provided by the staff are based on client’s preferences and choices, rather than providers’ judgments. Clients are not excluded from the program on the basis of readiness, diagnoses, symptoms, psychiatric hospitalizations, level of disability, or legal system involvement.
Through IPS, clients obtain personalized, understandable, and accurate information about their Social Security, Medicaid and other government entitlements with the assistance of a trained benefits counselor.
Employment specialists build an employer network based on clients’ interests, developing relationships with local employers by making systematic contacts.
The IPS program uses a rapid job search approach to help clients obtain jobs directly, rather than providing lengthy pre-employment assessment, training, and counseling. After making a successful placement for the client, individualized follow-along support is provided for as long as the client wants and needs the support.
Here is a story from one of our clients on how IPS has changed her life:
"I began working with the Individual Placement and Support (IPS) program at Iroquois Mental Health Center in the summer of 2015. At the time, I was seeing a therapist and receiving psychiatric services, but I still felt that there was something missing. I felt as if I didn’t have a purpose and everyday was the same, not having anything to do every day was not helping my mental health symptoms. I explained how I was feeling to my therapist and she asked if I had ever thought about part time employment. At this point, she explained how the IPS program could help me find employment and maintain it. They would be a part of my team to recovery. At this point I had nothing to lose so I decided to meet with an employment specialist.
I love the fact that my therapist and employment specialist work together as a team. She helped me find employment and continues to give me support when a problem arises on the job and praises me frequently on how proud she is on my success. She has even gone into my place of employment and advocated for me. I really like that if I have a problem she will talk to my employer and help resolve the problem. The weekly support I have been receiving has been a huge help in maintaining my job. My employment specialist has also been very helpful making sure I submit my monthly pay stubs to social security. Many times she has also helped with food stamps and medical applications too.
Without my employment specialists support I am afraid that my mental health symptoms would have continued to increase. I finally feel like I have a purpose and I am proud that my symptoms are more manageable. I am so grateful for the support of the IPS program." Ashley October, 2017
For additional information about how IPS can help you, contact:
Allison Lindstrom, BA, MHP
Supervisor, IPS Program