What is IPS?

The IPS-method provides individual support to enter the labour market. The method is developed for people suffering from mental ill health and thus who have difficulties finding a suitable job. At the centre of the method is the process of applying for a job on the regular labour market in accordance with the wishes and strengths of the person.

The IPS-method differs from traditional rehabilitation in that the coaching is mainly done at the actual place of work. The job placements are obtained directly from the regular labour market according to interests, wishes and qualifications of the person. An IPS Employment Specialist works alongside the psychiatric team and the support provided is strongly adapted to the current situation and wishes of the person. The support is maintained for as long as needed.

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What is IPS?

The Individual Placement and Support (IPS) model is originally developed in the United States. IPS counselling is delivered integrated with psychiatric treatment

Individual Placement and Support:

  • Is based on client preferences and goals
  • Involves rapid jobsearch
  • Focuses on finding and succeeding in a competitive employment
  • Mainly takes place in the working environment

The IPS Employment Center

An IPS Employment Specialist

  • Supports the client  in all stages of the process of finding and maintaining an employment
  • Supports in the working environment
  • Collaborates with the employer
  • Works alongside with psychiatric treatment
  • Collaborates with other potential instances

Core principles for success:

  • Openness to all clients who want to work
  • Focus on the goal of competitive employment
  • Client preferences guide the job search
  • Job search starts immediately after the client expresses interest in working
  • Job development is targeted
  • Support is individualized without time-limits
  • Support includes collaboration with employer if needed
  • Support is integrated with treatment
  • Benefits counselling is included

The IPS model needs to be more systematically implemented in Finland

IPS is internationally studied and validated with people suffering from severe mental illness. Research has also shown that IPS works well with people with co-occurring substance use disorders. Despite this, the model has not yet been systematically implemented in a Finnish context.

Research has proven a significant advantage of IPS compared to traditional vocational rehabilitation. Traditional vocational rehabilitation usually takes place step-by-step in sheltered conditions. IPS focuses on rapid job seeking with the goal of competitive employment based on client preferences.

The aim in our project is to make the IPS operating model a part of psychiatric specialized medical care and the services promoting employment. Our goal is also to spread IPS to other healthcare units and employment support services.

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The IPS Employment Center

The Labour Market Is Not Equal

Only a fraction of people suffering from serious mental ill health enter working life. Reduced working capacity is only a small part of the explanation. People suffering from mental ill health do not have equal opportunities to find paid job placements.


HUS Psychiatry and Uusimaa TE- office are currently collaborating, aiming at implementing the IPS-model as a part of psychiatric specialized medical care and services promoting employment. The try-out is a part of the broader IPS – Individual Placement and Support project coordinated by The Finnish Institute for Health and Wellfare (THL). THL is also conducting research with the goal of evaluating the effects and feasibility of the IPS model.

Our try-out is financed by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health as a part of the National Mental Health Strategy. We collaborate with several psychiatric teams within HUS Psychiatry. The city of Helsinki has its own regional try-out. Read more here.

Our employment specialists all aim at integrating the IPS to psychiatric treatment.

The service is delivered in two ways:

  1. The IPS Employment Specialist work as part of the psychiatric care organization
  2. The IPS Employment Specialist work as part of the Uusimaa TE Office

HUS employee: What you can do to support work?

Client referrals are possible from those teams within HUS Psychiatry that are in collaboration with us. No pre-vocational assessment is needed. The service is open to patients wanting to find employment. We know that work increases well-being, can be important for recovery and supports rehabilitation.

We hope you encourage you patients to work and contact us.

The try-out period is 2020-2022. Our goal is to broaden our target group after the project.

Collaboration with you

Our IPS Employment Specialists are willing to tell you about our project, the IPS model and its possibilities. It is important that all parties have all information needed You are welcome to contact us.

Equality and participation

We are aiming at equality in society. We want to ensure that people with different conditions get equal opportunities and participation on the labour market.