Implementing a combined individual placement and support and vocational peer work program in integrated youth mental health settings

Magenta B. Simmons, Gina Chinnery, Sarah Whitson, Sarah Bostock, Joshua Braybrook, Matthew Hamilton, Eoin Killackey, Mary Brushe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

AimTo describe the implementation and outcomes of a combined individual placement and support (IPS) and vocational peer work program for young people with mental ill-health. MethodsThis uncontrolled pilot study co-located IPS workers and vocational peer workers within two integrated youth mental health services (provided to clients aged 15-25 years old). Employment outcomes included job placements (working 15 hours or more per week in a paid competitive job in the open employment market) and sustained employment (employed for at least 26 weeks). Participants who required additional assistance also received peer work. ResultsOf the 326 young people enrolled, 195 (59.8%) achieved competitive employment, including 157 (48.2%) in funder-approved placements. Among those in approved placements, 87 (55.4%) achieved sustained employment. For the 116 participants additionally receiving vocational peer work, 54 (46.6%) worked in funder-approved placements, of whom 27 (50.0%) achieved sustained employment. Among 210 participants who did not receive peer work, 103 (49.0%) worked in funder-approved placements, of whom 60 (58.3%) achieved sustained employment. ConclusionsThe program achieved positive vocational outcomes and good fidelity to the IPS model. Approximately half of young people had employment placements, with a relatively high proportion maintained over time. The similar proportion of placements for those who did and did not receive peer work was encouraging given the IPS team determined that the former group needed additional support.Recommendations include upskilling the workforce, a data linkage system to obtain placement evidence, and using implementation science methodologies to understand how IPS programs are successfully embedded. This demands a coordinated effort between governments and funders, policymakers, services, and professional bodies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)412-421
Number of pages10
Journal Early Intervention in Psychiatry
Volume17
Issue number4
Early online date22 Jan 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2023

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