Background
Since the late 1980s, the Dartmouth Supported Employment Center (DSEC) has reviewed the literature on vocational rehabilitation, standardized a model of supported employment for persons with serious mental illness, developed manuals, DVDs, informational brochures, a fidelity measure, and a toolkit for supported employment, and completed several methodological studies, process studies, ethnographic studies, outcome studies, economic studies, and large-scale implementation studies.
Working in a part-time or full-time job in a community setting is possible for most people with serious mental illness. Supported employment, also called Individual Placement and Support (IPS) has proven to be the most effective approach for helping people gain competitive employment. Several areas need further investigation to increase the functional outcome of competitive employment for people with serious mental illness. These areas include ways to: increase job tenure, access to supported employment services, implementation of supported employment, quality and stability of program workforce, and organizing and financing supported employment services.