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ESN member Genio is an organisation based in Ireland working with philanthropy and government at national and EU levels.

Their mission is to support social services to solve complex problems and scale social innovations by helping stakeholders in shaping more personalised, community-based, and cost-effective social services.

In 2016, Irish Government departments in Housing and Health, Health Service Executive Ireland (HSE), Atlantic Philanthropies, and Genio launched the Service Reform Fund (SRF) to implement service reform in Ireland in mental health, disability, and homelessness.

One of the main strands under the SRF Mental Health programme was Individual Placement and Support (IPS) - an evidence-based approach focused on supporting people with enduring poor mental health to access mainstream employment.

Over a period of three to five years the approach aims to ensure that all participants involved would have a realistic expectation of getting support in finding, accessing, and maintaining employment in the open labour market. By 2020 there were 251 participants in the IPS programme.

The IPS model works with people when they express an interest in employment, not when they are ‘job ready’ which was the traditional approachJohn Healy, Deputy Executive Director, Genio.

The implementation of IPS focused on individualised support mechanisms ensuring the person accessing the service felt valued, heard, empowered and involved around the decisions being made. This ethos underpins all of the Genio programmes .

IPS has since become a national programme within the Irish health system. Research on the outcomes of IPS has indicated improved mental health for individuals, a reduction in medical interventions, improved self-esteem, empowerment, and an increase not only in income but in social connections which lead ultimately to a better quality of life.  

Find more information about the IPS programme here