Montgomery, Ala. – The Alabama Department of Mental Health (ADMH), in partnership with the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services (ADRS) and community mental health centers are highlighting the success stories of Individual Placement and Support (IPS) – Supported Employment, with a series of testimonial videos of clients and employers, and the benefits of the program. The first video, showcasing IPS client, Turner W. and the story of his successful employment at Martha’s Place in Montgomery, can be viewed here, on the ADMH YouTube channel.
The partnering departments and community mental health centers support the recovery of people with mental illness through meaningful and competitive employment. Individual Placement and Support – Supported Employment is an evidence-based service model aimed to assist people with serious mental illness (SMI) and co-occurring substance use disorders, in obtaining and maintaining competitive jobs, based upon their preferences.
“We have seen the initial results of the IPS program, and it changes lives. The program is based on a recovery-oriented culture, grounded by mental wellness, acceptance and the beneficial value of work in an individual’s life,” said Commissioner Kimberly Boswell.
IPS offers the opportunity for increased self-esteem, self-sufficiency, and decreased dependence on others. Research demonstrates the IPS model has a high rate of success when provided as a mental health service to individuals who express interest in joining the workforce.
Since the inception of IPS services in Alabama in 2015, over 263 of Alabama’s businesses have played a vital role in the success of individuals receiving employment. People receiving IPS -Supported Employment are more than twice as likely to gain competitive employment than individuals who receive [traditional employment] services (Brinchman, et al 2019).
IPS Teams are located in three areas of our state. Participating providers include the following:
- AltaPointe Health(Mobile)
- Central Alabama Wellness (Chilton and Shelby Counties)
- Montgomery Area Mental Health Authority(Montgomery)
“ADMH IPS-Supported Employment programs have helped over 180 adults with serious mental illness find employment. This is a huge success for the participants and our IPS teams, considering a high unemployment rate for the individuals we serve statewide. Integrating IPS within the mental health system creates access for people who may not otherwise walk across the threshold of traditional employment programs,” stated Jessica Hales, ADMH Coordinator of Adult Mental Illness Services.
Another crucial element of Alabama’s IPS – Supported Employment programs are Peer Specialists who provide support by sharing their personal stories of recovery. They assist individuals, clinicians, and families to understand the benefits of employment and the positive impact work has on mental health. The connections between peer specialists and individuals inspire, motivate, and encourage success.
To learn more about the ADMH IPS-SE program, please contact Denise Bern, IPS Trainer and Coordinator at 334-353-0006 or firstname.lastname@example.org. To be connected in your area, please contact one of the three community mental health centers offering the program.
To learn more about IPS, visit the IPS Employment Center at https://ipsworks.org/
To learn more about Employment statewide, visit AlabamaWorks! at https://alabamaworks.com
Reference: Brinchman, et al. A meta-regression of the impact of policy on the efficacy of individual placement and support. (2019).