Traditional approaches to vocational rehabilitation, such as skills training classes, job clubs, and sheltered employment, have not been successful in helping people with severe mental illness gain competitive employment. Supported employment, in which clients are placed in jobs and then trained by on-site coaches, is a radically new conceptual approach to vocational rehabilitation designed for people with developmental disabilities. The Individual Placement and Support (IPS) method utilizes the supported employment concept, but modifies it for use with the severely mentally ill. It is the only approach that has a strong empirical research base: rates of competitive employment are 40% or more in IPS programs, compared to 15% in traditional mental health programs. The third volume in the Innovations in Practice and Service Delivery with Vulnerable Populations series, this will be extremely useful to students in psychiatric rehabilitation programs and social work classes dealing with the severely mentally ill, as well as to practitioners in the field.

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