October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month. This year’s theme is “Disability: Part of the Equity Equation.
By Bridgeway Community Employment Services
The following story originally appeared in the January 2022 edition of the RSA NCRTM Newsletter.
What is IPS?
Individual Placement and Support (IPS) is a model of supported employment for people with serious mental illness (e.g., schizophrenia spectrum disorder, bipolar, depression).
IPS supported employment helps people living with behavioral health conditions work at regular jobs of their choosing. Although variations of supported employment exist, IPS refers to the evidence-based practice of supported employment. Mainstream education and technical training are included as ways to advance career paths.
Nate is a great example of an IPS success story. Prior to obtaining employment, Nate struggled with his mental health diagnosis and his diabetes. With these two health challenges, Nate felt bleak regarding his employment outlook.
Nate was uncertain about his financial future, so he decided to apply for Social Security benefits because he felt this was the only manner to receive financial stability. He wanted to work and pressed on in his journey to employment.
Nate began receiving services from Community Employment Services in Illinois to help him with preparing and finding employment. Community Employment Services helped Nate prepare for employment and encouraged him on his journey to employment. On March 12, 2021, Nate accepted a full-time custodian position with the Par-a-dice Casino.
Nate transitioned effortlessly to being employed. He has worked full-time for the last two years. For many weeks, Nate has volunteered to work overtime (40-50 hours a week) to cover unfilled shifts for call-ins while having perfect attendance himself. Nate has been recognized by his employer for doing an outstanding job and was nominated for “Employee of the Month.” In addition, Nate has been approached about training for a supervisor role.
Nate’s work success has also brought on many other positive life changes. Employment has assisted Nate with financial independence. He was able to purchase a new car. His employment has also helped him improve his physical health. Nate reports being in his best physical shape of his life. Nate’s confidence and independence has healed and improved his relationships with family members. Nate recently met his 90-days successful employment milestone and continues to grow and thrive in his job.
Congratulations to Nate, and best wishes as you continue your journey!
More about IPS
To learn more about IPS please visit IPS Employment Center. If you are interested in participating in the IPS program in your local area, please check with your local VR agency to see if this service is available.
About author: Bridgeway Inc. is a 501(c)3 organization providing community-based health and human services to a wide range of individuals in need.
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