Per IPS Works, two-thirds of people with serious mental illness (SMI) want to work but only 15% are employed. Work is often seen as an essential part of recovery. Competitive employment has a positive impact on self-esteem, life satisfaction, and reducing symptoms (Luciano, Bond, & Drake, 2014).

Individual Placement and Support (IPS) is a model of supported employment for people with serious mental illness (e.g., schizophrenia spectrum disorder, bipolar, depression). IPS supported employment helps people living with behavioral health conditions work at regular jobs of their choosing. Although variations of supported employment exist, IPS refers to the evidence-based practice of supported employment. Mainstream education and technical training are included as ways to advance career paths.

Here is more information about Employment Assistance

EasterSeals UCP IPS support Easterseals’ IPS Program

IPS Support in Chatham and Orange County

Employer support information and tools from the Department of Labor can be found here

NAMI NC’s Helpline is also a great source of information about additional resources in the state such as Vocational Rehabilitation, and LME Resources – call 800.451.9682 or email