Individual Placement and Support (IPS)

In collaboration with the career coaching company Spring House, Varma is piloting an Individual Placement and Support (IPS) model. IPS, which originates from the U.S., is an evidence-based model of supported employment that has proven to be an effective means of support for getting people with partial work ability employed or back into work.

What is IPS?

  • Strong evidence of the IPS model’s effectiveness has been obtained, especially with respect to mental health rehabilitants’ employment and mental health support.
  • The aim is to help rehabilitants find employment and become engaged in working life, with their job forming an integral part of their rehabilitation.
  • Jobs are sought for the rehabilitants based on their interests and preferences.
  • Employment is sought in the open job market, and support for the rehabilitant’s work engagement is focussed on the workplace.
  • A placement and support coach helps the rehabilitant during the employment process and, with the rehabilitant’s consent, also collaborates with the parties looking after the rehabilitant’s health.

IPS model pilot

We piloted the IPS model as part of the employment and rehabilitation activities for Varma’s mental health rehabilitation customers. The customer is supported throughout the process by a placement and support coach from Spring House.

The pilot is being carried out in Pirkanmaa and Central Finland from September 2020 until December 2023, and it includes 40 of Varma’s rehabilitation customers.

The pilot aims to support a shift in the focus of rehabilitation to work engagement and working life.

Who can take part?

The mental health rehabilitants who are Varma’s vocational rehabilitation customers in Pirkanmaa and Central Finland can take part in the pilot.

  • The participants are required to be facing the threat of disability or already have reduced work ability for mental health reasons.
  • Varma is offering the pilot to its rehabilitation customers who meet the criteria and who need support in returning to work.
  • A condition for participation is that the participant’s employer is unable to offer suitable work or that the employment relationship has already ended.

Research related to the IPS model pilot

Varma is implementing a comparative study related to the pilot to determine the IPS model’s impacts on the work engagement of mental health rehabilitants, as well as the work ability and functional capacity of the rehabilitants. In addition, the study will create a model of and evaluate the mechanisms that make the model effective.
Research data is being collected using various qualitative and quantitative research methods. The outcome of the research will be used to develop the different forms of vocational rehabilitation.
The study is part of Varma’s research function, which aims to produce information on and an understanding of work ability and disability risks and how to manage them, as well as the effectiveness of measures to support work ability.

Spring House contact persons

Piia Kratsch

Development Manager, Work ability services

043 826 9602

Anne Vanajoki

Work Ability Coach

044 420 4216

Varma contact persons

Sari Ekholm-Heinonen

Rehabilitation Specialist

010 244 4983

Iina Vilén

Rehabilitation Specialist

010 244 5842

Anne Korhonen

Rehabilitation Service Manager

010 244 6948

Marika Schaupp

Research Manager

050 582 4376

Work ability management research