Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Questions (150)

James Browne


150. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Health the position regarding the roll-out of the employability programme in association with mental health organisations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41393/18]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

In order to support the employment of those with enduring mental illness, the Mental Health Services in the HSE intends to make individual placement support available in each CHO. The Individual Placement and Support (IPS) approach ensures the development of opportunities for people with mental health difficulties to remain in, or to access, work in mainstream settings and to support employers in addressing attendant recruitment and retention issues. Individuals are also offered supports to access opportunities which are based on their skills and interests.

It is agreed that 23.5 IPS Employment Specialists will be recruited by employment agencies, with one additional post funded through Service Reform Fund general grant funding for a total of 24.5 positions. All posts will be in place by the end of quarter 4, 2018. There are an additional 5 Early Intervention in Psychosis posts which will also be in place by the end of quarter 4, 2018. The Early Intervention in Psychosis program will share a number of activities with the general IPS rollout including training, fidelity reviews and resources.

To facilitate the roll-out of the IPS Employment Specialists:

- An IPS steering group has been established.

- Meetings have been held with DEASP, Employment Agencies and the National Occupational Therapist Managers group and they have agreed to the implementation and management of IPS at local level.

- An SLA has been agreed to govern this. To underpin all of this, it is intended to seek the development of a of memorandum of understanding between Department of Health and the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection to support government policy including a Vision for Change and The Employment Strategy for people with Disability.

- The signing of Service Level Agreements are underway. As of the 5th of October 2018, there are 12 Service Level Agreements (with 13 associated posts) signed. Negotiations are ongoing in a number of CHO areas but it is expected that each CHO area will have an IPS service in place once complete.