- Skye Barbic, PhD, Research Director, Foundry, Vancouver, BC
Goal: This presentation will describe a four year project to design, test, and implement a novel supported employment intervention for young people accessing integrated youth health services. Introduction: A critical mass of knowledge has accumulated to support the role of employment and education as social factors in determining the health of Canadians. This is notably true for the 1 in 4 Canadian young people aged 15 to 29 years who are diagnosed with a mental illness each year. Yet, the evidence base for effective interventions to support young people with mental illness to improve health outcomes through engagement in employment or education is to date underdeveloped. Objective: This presentation will describe a four year study to design, test, and implement a novel supported employment intervention for young people. Methods: This study was a mixed methods study comprised of four phases: (1) co-design, (2) pilot, (3) longitudinal pilot, and (4) scale. In Phase 1, a convenience sample was used to understand the supported employment needs of young people accessing integrated youth health services and co-design a prospective intervention based on an existing evidence-based model called Individual Placement Support. In Phase 2, a pilot was developed, tested and refined over a 30 month period. In Phase 3, a prospective cohort design was used in one community. Measures included employment/education >30 days, symptomology, recovery, and quality of life. Complete assessments took place at baseline, 5 weeks, 16 weeks, and at 6 and 12 months post-intervention. Focus groups with a subset of youth were conducted to generate descriptions of participant experiences in the intervention. Finally, implementation of the intervention across 11 communities and one virtual service took place. Results: A total of 18 cohorts of young people participated in the pilot phases intervention (total 155 youth, mean age 21, SD=2.2). Employment/education progress was achieved by 71% of participants, with 55% maintaining the outcome at 1 year, with 90% of participants showing improvement on recovery and mental health outcomes and overall strong satisfaction with the intervention. Results informed a pan-Canadian strategy to implement the model across 12 communities, three of which will continue rigorous research testing with like-minded community partners. The program is estimated to support 600 young people in BC each year. Conclusion: The results support a well-tested, widely applicable intervention tailored for young people with mental illness to improve health outcomes by increasing participation in employment or education. The program is estimated to support 600 young people in BC each year.
- Describe the process for developing, integrating, and scaling a supported employment (SE) model within a health service designed for young people.
- Outline 5 benefits of health and social services being integrated to deliver youth-centred care.
- Describe the how healthcare teams can champion SE to ensure fully integrated experiences for youth in the pursuit of health and recovery.