Improving occupational outcomes of those with severe mental illness

Despite the national unemployment rates decreasing over the last decade and a dramatic expansion in employment services for those with disabilities, the proportion of Australian adults with a severe mental illness who are in employment remains unacceptably low. Over the last 12 months we have undertaken a systematic review and meta-analysis of effectiveness of supported employment for people with severe mental illness, specifically individual placement support (IPS). IPS is based on the philosophy that anyone is capable of gaining competitive employment, provided the right job with appropriate support can be identified.  We found that IPS is an effective intervention across a variety of settings and economic conditions and is more than twice as likely to lead to competitive employment when compared to traditional vocational rehabilitation.