Supported Employment, Individual Placement and Support (IPS)

Chrysalis believes that every person with a serious mental illness is capable of working competitively in the community if the right kind of job and work environment can be found. Chrysalis services follow Individual Placement and Support (IPS), Dartmouth’s model of evidence-based supported employment (see below). The goal is to help consumers find and maintain competitive, community-based employment that matches their individual skills, interests, and abilities.

Consumers work with one designated Employment Specialist through their entire employment process from intake to long-term support.

To best adhere to the principles of IPS; which emphasizes an integrated approach to employment services, individuals interested in employment services must be connected to one of the following mental health teams (Comprehensive Community Services, Journey Mental Health Community Support Programs, Tellurian Community Intervention Team, and Community Partnership Transition to Independence Program). Please feel free to contact Jeanne Louther, IPS Supervisor, for more information on appropriate referrals.

What to Expect

The first 30 days usually entail – weekly meetings to accomplish:

  • Initial assessment
  • Vocational work plan
  • Job development plan
  • Begin process of face-to-face contact with an employer
  • Contact with other mental health supports to coordinate support efforts
Ongoing Weekly Meetings

(services are individualized based on consumer needs & preferences)

  • Active job development
  • Vocational counseling
  • Interview preparation / mock interviews
  • Resume & cover letter development
  • Application assistance
  • Accommodation planning & advocacy
  • Transportation arrangements
  • Work appropriate behaviors, relationships, & hygiene.
Job Hire

Consumers receive different types of support based on the job, their preferences, work history, needs, etc.. Employment specialists also provide on-site job coaching supports to assist with initial training and accommodation planning, per consumer request. Employment specialists meet with consumers within 3 days of starting a new job.

On-site Job Coaching

Employment specialists are able to accommodate on-site job coaching with the expectation that supports taper off once the consumer feels . The goal is for consumers to work independently at their place of employment.

Long-term Supports

After 3 months of employment, consumers meet at least monthly with employment specialists to receive follow-along supports. Employment specialists are available to help consumers move onto more preferable jobs and also to assist with school or certified training programs. Support services are time-unlimited but typically clients transition to step down job supports through other mental health providers after 1 or more years of steady employment.

“I like the flexibility at Chrysalis. Staff consistently treat me respectfully and are really flexible and laid back. The staff I work with really go the extra mile for me.” – Chrysalis Consumer

Requirement to Participate

The only criterion to participate in our program is that you must be connected to one of the mental health treatment teams listed above. If you are eligible, our Employment Specialists will work with you on an individual basis to develop a plan of how we can best support you in your employment process.

Goal of IPS Supported Employment

IPS Supported Employment is an approach to vocational rehabilitation for people with serious mental illnesses that emphasizes helping them obtain competitive work in the community and providing the supports necessary to ensure their success in the workplace. Rather than trying to sculpt consumers into becoming “perfect workers” through extensive prevocational assessment and training, consumers are offered help finding and keeping jobs that capitalize on their personal strengths and motivation. Thus, the primary goal of IPS is not to change consumers, but to find a natural “fit” between consumers’ strengths and experiences and jobs in the community.

Evidence Based Principles of IPS
  • Eligibility is based on consumer choice.
    No one is excluded because of prior work history, hospitalization history, substance use, symptoms, or other characteristics. No one is excluded who wants to participate.
  • Supported employment is closely integrated with mental health treatment.Employment specialists meet frequently with the mental health treatment team to coordinate plans.
  • Competitive employment is the goal.
    The focus is community jobs anyone can apply for that pay at least minimum wage, including part-time and full-time jobs.
  • Job Search starts soon after a consumer expresses an interest in working.
    There are no requirements for completing extensive pre-employment assessment and training, or intermediate work experiences (like pre-vocational work units, transitional employment, or sheltered workshops).
  • Follow-along supports are continuous.
    Individualized supports to maintain employment continue as long as the consumer wants assistance.
  • Consumer preferences are important.
    Choices and decisions about work and support are individualized based on the person’s preferences, strengths, and experiences.
  • Benefits counseling is part of the employment decision-making process.
    Personalized benefits planning and guidance help consumers to make informed decisions about job starts and changes.

For more information about how to participate in our Supported Employment program, please contact Amy Yonker, IPS Supervisor, at (608) 256-3102.