S77: Are we having the right conversations about employment? Rethinking success beyond employment outcomes.

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By September 17, 2019 No Comments

Authors: Michael Shartrand

Year: 2019

Event: 2019 TheMHS Conference

Subject: Are we having the right conversations about employment? Rethinking success beyond employment outcomes.

Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers



Michael currently manages all IPS informed WorkWell programs at Neami. He has 20 years of employment/recruitment and human resources experience within not-for-profit and corporate environments.

Job outcomes, job starts, sustaining employment for thirteen and twenty-six weeks; all these make sense as outcomes for employment programs. There is momentum building behind Individual Placement and Support (IPS) and no doubt that it is delivering positive employment outcomes for many people experiencing mental ill-health, distress or other challenges related to employment.

Yet, strong job starts or sustaining a position for 13 weeks speaks to only part of the issue and for only part of the population with mental ill-health who want to work. At Neami we have been thinking about the people who might be statistically described as a “negative outcome” – they don’t get work immediately, or they don’t sustain a role to 13 weeks – but we know they too, are experiencing success in many ways.

This presentation will seek to illuminate questions that require further exploration, pick apart assumptions and share example of success from our WorkWell programs that will not be captured in statistics. It will challenge the audience to re-image the real essence of IPS and elements that are more or less important within an Australian context. We may not have the answers yet, but the conversation is worth having.

Learning Objectives
Learning Objective 1: The audience will gain insights, approaches and a fresh view of how to guide the employment journey through the experience of the consumer. Employment programs without compliance can offer a person centric approach that builds upon fundamental communications such as trust, commitment and partnership thus creating a context of personal preference for the consumer. These choices are nurtured within the consumer’s vision of employment and recovery. The audience will also take away that the IPS model utilised by Neami is adaptable to different programs. By adhering to components of the IPS model with the flexibility to deliver in a consumer-focused manner.
Learning Objective 2: Mental health services that deliver an employment program understand that employment can be a powerful piece to a consumer’s recover. Purpose, confidence, dignity, inclusiveness, community engagement, earning a good wage, these are just a few things that the employment journey offers, and all can contribute to personal recovery. Wrap-around employment supports provided within community mental health contexts can and will address barriers that can get lost in the Job Provider compliance model.

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