Employment for people experiencing severe and persistent mental illness: Individual Placement and Support outcomes across 7 years of integrated service delivery and partnership

Melissa Petrakis, Yolande Stirling, Kate Higgins

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Background: Employment has a number of positive benefits for people who experience severe and persistent mental illness (SPMI) including: increased self-confidence and wellbeing, development of friendships, community engagement and improved quality of life. Research shows that Individual Placement and Support (IPS) is the most effective model supporting people with a serious mental illness to gain employment. Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) across the United States, Canada, Hong Kong and Europe have shown that 61% of IPS program participants achieved competitive employment, compared to 23% of participants accessing other forms of employment support. There is very limited longitudinal data in this important area.

Objectives: To investigate service and consumer outcome data, from 7 years of integrated employment and mental health treatment service collaboration and partnership in a ‘real world’ Australian study.

Method: Demographic, hospital admission and employment outcomes data were examined.

Results: Overall (N=137) an employment outcome was achieved for 46.3% of program participants. Promising is that more than 50% of placements were still active at participant exit or contract cessation; job tenure therefore may be underestimated.

Conclusions: Despite some structural barriers to implementing an IPS program within the Australian context, people with SPMI can gain and sustain employment in various fields.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Event8th International Conference on Social Work in Health and Mental Health 2016: Enhancing Human Condition: Negotiating & Creating Change - , Singapore
Duration: 19 Jun 201623 Jun 2016
Conference number: 8th


Conference8th International Conference on Social Work in Health and Mental Health 2016
Abbreviated titleICSW 2016


  • Vocational interventions
  • Recovery-oriented practice
  • Social Work Mental Health Practice

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