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Employment is a result of diverse cooperation

Close cooperation with the care provider is both an important objective of the IPS project and one of the cornerstones of the operating model itself.

According to the IPS quality criteria, the aim is to have the IPS employment specialists participate in the care team’s meetings on a weekly basis. In addition, the quality criteria recommend that the facilities of the Employment Specialists should be located adjacent to or at least near the care team’s facilities. In addition, the Employment Specialists are responsible for attracting the care team’s attention to the employment of persons not receiving job coaching.

International studies also show that cooperation with the care provider supports job coaching. As with many other forms of rehabilitation, IPS job coaching also works best as part of wider and holistic psychiatric rehabilitation.

Liisa Kilpi

When IPS Employment Specialists Susanna Mustalahti from the HUS team and Liisa Kilpi from the TE Office team together reflect on the first stages of the project, both the cooperation between them and the cooperation with the care provider have a key role in the discussion.

Liisa has graduated with a Bachelor of Hospitality Management degree. In her previous positions at the City of Vantaa and the TE Office, she gained a lot of experience in job coaching and cooperation with employers.

Susanna Mustalahti

Susanna is an occupational therapist by training. She has experience of working both on a ward and in youth psychiatry. She has been an assistant researcher at Fimea for a long time.

In spite of their different professional backgrounds, Susanna and Liisa find that the coaching they provide is based on very similar principles. ”I think Susanna and I have a very similar approach to work,” Liisa explains. ”In general, we get down to business quickly.  We have an empathetic approach to work and we hope for the best for the client,” Susanna says.

Differences enrich cooperation

Both Liisa and Susanna agree that combining the expertise of two organizations in the regional pilot of HUS Psychiatry and Uusimaa TE Office is a great opportunity. Different backgrounds and expertise are enriching and help in encouraging the colleague forward when she faces challenges in the diverse and broad job description of IPS Employment Specialist. ”There is so much that is different, but expertise that is necessary from the client’s point of view is available in both organizations. Expertise in matters related to TE Office’s competence is very important in this work. I am a specialist in matters related to HUS, so I have less of that expertise,” Susanna explains. “

My most important cooperation partner is Susanna. She has experience in our target group and
I can share client cases with her
Cooperation with the care team at HUS Psychiatry is very helpful for an Employment Specialist because you can discuss the client’s situation and get more information for improving the job opportunities of each client,” Liisa adds. She continues that being able to borrow an office at the Myyrmäki Psychosis Outpatient Clinic has also made her work possible and easier. ”They have been unbelievably flexible and helpful. I would also like to say a special thank you to the secretaries at the Myyrmäki Outpatient Clinic for a good service in different situations. It really works!

Every team member’s input promotes the person’s employment

Although they both like the diversity of their work, Liisa and Susanna say they reflect on the broad role of the IPS Employment Specialist a lot. At times, the role is challenging to define and all of forms of cooperation have not yet emerged. There can never be too much cooperation and you easily work alone too much, both of them say. ”Perhaps we have not quite understood yet that we Employment Specialists are not separate from everyone else” ponders Liisa. Susanna continues: ”It is in the jobseeker’s interest that we all work in cooperation. It has been extremely useful to participate in the care meetings. In the meetings, you meet both the nurses and the physicians and, for example, the representatives of the possible accommodation units. They all contribute to job coaching.” Liisa adds: “We all have the same objective. We all work for a common goal. The person’s employment is the result of our joint effort.”

Both Susanna and Liisa consider further development of the cooperation very important. They both hope to be able to develop their cooperation with the care team as well as the teams of the organizations participating in the project. ”Polishing the operating practices of two different organizations into a joint IPS working method requires a lot of negotiation skills, talking matters through and development,” Susanna says.

Liisa and Susanna also consider it important that the organizations identify employment more widely as part of the client’s everyday life and recovery in the future. ”I’m sure everyone involved understands what successful employment demands in terms of measures and support, but how many outsiders really understand, for example, how important it is for an individual client to succeed even in a very small matter?” Liisa wonders.

In the article series ‘Life as an employment specialist’, you can follow the experiences of our employment specialists in their everyday work.