Authors: Philleen Dickson
Event: 2016 TheMHS Conference
Subject: Western Australian Association For Mental Health WAAMH, perth, challenges, mental health service reform, service delivery, implementation
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: “Being without work, structure or occupation is damaging to your health and wellbeing and restricts your choices” (Rinaldi). Despite this, the value of paid employment is often underestimated in clinical mental health settings and recovery planning. This workshop will demonstrate that access to meaningful employment opportunities is fundamental to recovery.
Recent decades have seen significant change in workplace equality; however people with experience of severe and enduring mental health conditions continue to be amongst the most disadvantaged members of our community. They face multiple barriers in relation to finding and keeping jobs. During a time of mental health reform, there is substantial evidence that most people who live with a mental health condition want and are able to work.
The Individual Placement and Support (IPS) model (evidence-based supported employment) follows the eight core practice principles developed by Professors Drake and Becker at Dartmouth College, USA. The value of IPS is repeatedly illustrated through international studies that consistently demonstrate the IPS model to be most effective. Employment rates as high as 54% have been documented internationally. A substantial challenge is that recovery based employment practice is not yet given equal value alongside clinical interventions.
In 2011, The Western Australian Association for Mental Health (WAAMH), peak body of the community-managed mental health sector, made IPS implementation a priority for sector development. This led to the establishment of an IPS Development Unit, the only one of its kind in Australia. Since then interest has grown significantly in IPS and the IPS Development Unit now supports IPS programs throughout metropolitan and regional WA and in NSW and South Australia.
The presenters will share 4 years of accumulated key learnings, successes and challenges of implementing an internationally recognised evidence-based model of practice. Participants are invited to join in a ‘surgery session’ exploring options to overcome systemic, service and societal challenges when implementing a quality based innovative program.
The workshop will include the following:
• Breakout activity – Linking the TheMHS theme to individual participant values and the IPS model
• A brief outline of the Individual Placement and Support model & core practice principles
• Excerpts from international settings
• Personal consumer success stories
• Experiences of implementing IPS in parts of Australia including metropolitan and regional areas
• A comparison between establishing IPS partnerships (mental health services and employment services working in collaboration) and developing fully integrated IPS services (mental health providers directly employing an IPS employment specialist)
• An interactive 30 minute ‘surgery session’ revisiting key challenges and looking at innovative next steps from the collective expertise of workshop participants
• 10 minute Q&A
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