Individual Placement and Support
       Health and social care

People with mental health conditions who need more support to get into work than is available through mainstream welfare to work services.

Individual Placement and Support (IPS) is an evidence-based, cost-effective approach to supporting people with mental health conditions into work. It integrates treatment and employment support as integral to an individual’s recovery and focuses on open, competitive employment that fits with an individual’s needs and preferences. It is different to traditional supported employment approaches, which often offer people training first and then help them to get a job. Instead, IPS includes rapid job search and getting people into work as soon as possible. Then both employee and employer receive personalised support for as long as they need it.


Visit the Centre for Mental Health website: http://www.centreformentalhealth.org.uk/employment/ips.aspx .  Download the independent Perkins Review (2009), Realising Ambitions at  http://www.dwp.gov.uk  > enter title in search box.


  • There are nine centres of excellence in IPS nationally co-ordinated by the Centre for Mental Health, but whether or not IPS is available to an individual is currently something of a postcode lottery.  Enquire locally if it is offered by a local Mental Health Trust or local authority.
  • Self-management is supported through a ‘Wellness and Recovery Action Plan’ (WRAP). As part of this, IPS can be activated to support job retention during periods of illness. If a job is unsuitable, the whole process is repeated until sustainable open employment is achieved. In most cases training needs are addressed once the person is in work.
  • IPS could include time-limited (no more than three months) internships for people who have been out of the labour market for some time. Internships would provide the person with a reference, confidence about working with their condition and enable them to build up to full-time work. 

Information correct as of 01-May-2011

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