Enhancing work-focused supports for people with severe mental illnesses in Australia

Natalia Contreras, Susan L. Rossell, David J. Castle, Ellie Fossey, Dea Morgan, Caroline Crosse, Carol Harvey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Persons with severe mental illness (smi) have reduced workforce participation, which leads to significant economic and social disadvantage. This theoretical review introduces the strategies that have been implemented to address this issue. These include individual placement and support (ips) services, the most widely researched form of supported employment, to which cognitive remediation has more recently been recognised in the usa, as an intervention to improve employment outcomes by addressing the cognitive impairments often experienced by people with smi. The authors review the international literature and discuss specifically the Australian context. They suggest that Australia is in a prime position to engage clients in such a dual intervention, having had recent success with increasing access to supported employment programs and workforce reentry, through implementation of the Health Optimisation Program for Employment (hope). Such programs assist with gaining and maintaining employment. However, they do not address the cognitive issues that often prevent persons with smi from effectively participating in work. Thus, optimising current interventions, with work-focused cognitive skills development is critical to enhancing employment rates that remain low for persons with smi.
Original languageEnglish
Article number863203
Number of pages8
JournalRehabilitation Research and Practice
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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