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March 14, 2016

During the month of March, the San Diego Workforce Partnership (SDWP), in collaboration with Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH), hosted a three-day training on the Individual Placement and Support (IPS) model of supported employment. The training was offered to a broad range of community-based organizations and attended by 70 guests committed to improving employment outcomes for individuals with severe mental illness.

IPS, a well-researched, evidence-based practice, stands out as unique to other supported employment models because services are individualized and long lasting with a focus on competitive wages. A cornerstone of IPS is the philosophy that work promotes recovery and wellness, putting a focus on rapid job search and placement. The model emphasizes a team approach to improve employment outcomes that is inclusive of families, vocational rehabilitation counselors and mental health practitioners. The three-day training offered a comprehensive overview of IPS and time for networking with other attendees to promote opportunities for future collaboration.

“Implementing proven methods like IPS not only promotes independence and opportunity for people with mental illness, but also maximizes the results of workforce development efforts in our community,” says Nicole Murphy, SDWP Special Projects Manager.

In 2013, the County of San Diego initiated the Supported Employment Initiative and contracted with SDWP and CSH to develop a five-year strategic plan. Aligned with Live Well San Diego, the overarching goal of the initiative is to reduce the stigma of mental illness while increasing employment opportunities for individuals with mental health challenges. In addition to training, SDWP hosts quarterly employer socials, stakeholder and consumer focus groups and monthly Work Well Committee meetings. For more information, contact Mario Becerra, Program Specialist, at

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