"la Caixa’s" Incorpora Programme is an integration-into-work programme whose objective is the placement of people in a situation of social exclusion, directly reinforcing the capacity of integration of the welfare organisations participating in the project and helping to raise awareness and to search for integration opportunities for people at risk of social exclusion.
The beneficiaries of the Incorpora Mental Health programme include people with mental health conditions who require support to settle into or maintain their jobs. The aims of the "la Caixa" Incorpora Programme are:
- To create greater employment opportunities in the open market through a network of employment specialists established in collaboration with the welfare organisations participating in the programme.
- To offer companies an alternative form of job placement that heightens their corporate social responsibility, with the collaboration of "la Caixa's" nationwide network of offices.
- To reinforce the professionalization and the capacity for placement of all the welfare organisations participating in the programme, as well professional training for the employment specialists.
The implementation approach consists of creating an integration-into-work network through cooperation agreements with the participating welfare organisations, whose geographical distribution serves as a framework for the Incorpora groups. This extensive network of organisations allows the programme to establish synergies to prevent the social exclusion of people with mental health conditions who are motivated to find, keep or return to their normal jobs.
The Incorpora Mental Health initiative to promote the integration into work of people with mental health conditions arises in response to the demand, on behalf of the corporate sector and the organisations taking part in the programme, to help one of the groups that is worst hit by unemployment. The discrimination and stigmatisation that these people still have to endure are a major obstacle for them to fulfil fully independent life projects on an equal footing with the rest of society. Hence, one of the purposes of the programme is to help to improve this situation.
The main activities developed by this on-line Programa Incorpora mental health programme tool are:
a. AWARENESS RAISING AND KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT ACTIVITIES
- To cooperate in the distribution of key information and resources on integration into work for people with mental health conditions in every one of Spain’s regions.
- To provide information on regulations, legal issues, calls, announcements and other relevant information.
- To support initiatives to improve evidence-based knowledge sharing or emerging issues in the field of integration in to work.
b. SUPPORT FOR SPECIALISTS AND ADVICE ON COMPLEX CASES
- Answering questions posed to the expert via on-line forms and e-mails
- Providing telephone consultancy in response to answer on-line queries, when appropriate.
- Impelling the on-line forum for employment specialists and corporate employees interested in the integration into work of people with mental health conditions.
c. TRAINING ACTIVITIES
- Information on and access to training activities for employment specialists and corporate HR and occupational health staff.
d. SUPPORT FOR EMPLOYMENT SERVICE IMPROVEMENT INITIATIVES
- Support employment agency specialists on the projects implemented to strengthen different aspects related to improving the integration into work of people with mental conditions.
- To promote quality improvement initiatives in view of the results obtained.
e. SUPPORT FOR EMPLOYERS
- To answer questions from corporate sector staff, more specifically from HR and Occupational Safety departments, as regards the integration into work of people with mental health conditions, in coordination with the organisations involved in the Incorpora network.
- To provide training and information resources to help address and manage the situations that might arise in the company in the integration of people with mental health conditions.
f. SUPPORT FOR INDIVIDUALS
To provide a site for employment agency users, their families and other members of society interested in integration into work, offering them useful and relevant information in this field. The principles promoted by the Incorpora Mental Health Programme are aligned with those of supported employment, which aims to foster integration in the ordinary job market based on each individual’s preferences and motivations. The key principles of this approach to job placement are (GR Bond et al., 2001; Perkins, Farmer, & Litchfield, 2009; Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health, 2009):
- Job search is rapid. Preparation is simultaneous with job search, and training takes place after starting the job, preferably at the workplace.
- Job search is consistent with the individual’s preferences, needs and priorities.
- There are no eligibility criteria for taking part in placement and support programmes. Anyone interested in finding work is eligible for the programme.
- Both the jobs sought and the pay provided are within competitive market parameters. This is the primary goal of the employment service. It is not intended for sites created especially for people with disabilities (in protected environments or others segregated from the regular job market).
- Support is time-unlimited and individualised to both the employer and employee (for keeping the job and searching for new work opportunities), and its intensity is dependent on their needs.
- Employment specialists and clinicians work closely together in the community. Clinical treatment and job search are provided simultaneously, requiring the teams of specialists to be integrated and to actively participate to achieve the objectives of the placement process.
- Support to furnish the necessary information on welfare and social benefits (deductions, tax credits, etc.) to allow individuals to make the best choices for their own interests, both before starting work and throughout their working lives.
- Employment specialists develop relationships with employers to understand their needs and preferences. This allows them to provide a service to employers while searching for job openings for their users, making the service community-based. (Dartmouth Psychiatric Research Center, 2011).