Degree Name

Master of Science

Department or Program

Rehabilitation Administration and Services


Flowers, Carl R.


Individuals with serious mental illness (SMI) have a high unemployment rate when compared to individuals without mental illness. Qualitative studies have shown that many individuals with SMI desire to work and see employment as an important step in their recovery processes, but they need assistance in securing and maintaining employment. A supported employment approach that research has proven effective with the SMI population is the individual placement and support (IPS) model. Tested against other vocational rehabilitation methods, IPS results in more competitive employment outcomes. This paper reviews the literature on SMI, compares the IPS process to other employment programs, addresses counterarguments, documents the model’s impact, and provides examples of its implementation.