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IPS beyond SMI

NIHR funded applied research to develop co-produced learnings, policy guidance and resources to support the development of Individual Placement and Support (IPS) and Supported Employment in population groups and settings beyond severe mental illness (SMI)

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Research Motivations and Aims

Individual Placement and Support (IPS) is a model of employment support typically supporting individuals with severe mental health conditions to voluntarily move into paid work as part of their health management and recovery. IPS operates to a fidelity scale designed around these severe mental health population groups and settings and is well-evidenced to be effective. IPS is an example of the broader Supported Employment approach.


IPS is on the march and is innovating to new settings and new population groups far beyond its 'traditional' use in severe mental illness: individuals with learning disabilities and autism, common mental health conditions, musculoskeletal conditions, substance issues as well as experiences of chronic pain, homelessness and the criminal justice system to name but a few.

The UK is at the forefront of this international trend with several significant trials, pilots and services adopting IPS and Supported Employment approaches in a diverse range of population groups and settings. This diverse innovation raises key questions, challenges and opportunities for both academic and policy understanding and practice around IPS and Supported Employment. It also provides rich terrain for this project to explore, learn and support future policy and practice around IPS and Supported Employment in diverse settings and population groups beyond severe mental health.


This project, funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), will provide new academic learning alongside practical policy guidance and resources to support improved IPS and Supported Employment policy making, service performance and user experiences in the future.

We're passionate about co-produced academic research that supports positive change for people and policy. Join us.

For more information, contact Project PI, Professor Adam Whitworth,


News & Events

Latest Publications from the Research Team

Mainstreaming effective employment support for individuals with health conditions: An analytical framework for the effective design of modified Individual Placement and Support (IPS) models.

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