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Successful coordination in western Sweden for vocational rehabilitation

The project Inclusive Rehabilitation


The Inclusive Rehabilitation project began its activities in October 2015. It aims to increase access to vocational rehabilitation for individuals with mental illness who are often excluded from the labour market. After only six months the project has proved successful: 28 people have found jobs, begun studies or received other support identified by the project.


Building on the experiences of an earlier ESF project, this project is a collaboration between six coordinating associations in western Sweden. The pre-study for the project revealed that five per cent of Sweden’s working-age population is estimated to be in need of coordinated support for rehabilitation. Within the area that comprises the six coordinating associations, this corresponds to roughly 28,000 individuals.


People who need vocational rehabilitation often lack the ability to pursue their own case, which is often is a prerequisite to gaining access to adequate rehabilitation. The need is greatest for people with mental illness and young adults with neuropsychiatric, psychiatric and functional impairments.


Inclusive rehabilitation is intended for people who find themselves far removed from the labour market, mainly young people under the age of 29. However, there are participants aged 16 to 65 in the project. The target group needs help getting a job, beginning their studies or establishing a foothold in the labour market.


“Since our goal also encompasses helping individuals get one step closer to the job market, this opens up for a wider group of people whom we can help through the project. We don’t need to feel bound by the participants’ ability to access the job market. A narrower target group could shut out those who have the greatest need of support,” says project owner Ola Andersson.

Coordination of individual efforts

The difficulty in gaining a foothold in the labour market depends not only on the characteristics of the individual, but on the social approach to employability and on how different agencies approach these individuals.


“People with mental illness often need targeted initiatives from several government agencies. Thanks to collaboration among the many operators in a large project like this, we get the chance to work with both general and agency-wide issues but also to coordinate specific, individual initiatives for individuals of different genders, ethnicity, functional levels and ages,” says project manager Evy Almstrand.

Seven sub-projects

Inclusive rehabilitation consists of seven sub-projects that have slightly different profiles. One of them, for example, focuses on young people (18‑29 years) with mental illness. That project has developed a programme called Dino, with elements such as motivational interviewing, physical activity in different forms, job training and housing assistance, based entirely on the individual’s specific needs. The sub-project takes a comprehensive approach to each individual’s situation as to avoid the participants’ being shuffled around in different systems without progressing anywhere.


One sub-project is about motivating young adults to see a psychologist, in collaboration with social services. This has increased the ability of social services to recognise and understand the type of psychiatric support individuals in the target group need.


Another sub-project, called Extended ACTIVE, uses the vocational therapy method ‘ReDO’ and explores how to create a work-life balance for women with chronic fatigue syndrome. Initiatives such as wellness, medical yoga and occupational therapy will help the participants to get a handle on their lives and return to work.

Good results after just six months

The project’s work approach has already proved successful. The first participants began in January 2016, and by June 2016 151 people were active in at least one of the sub-projects. Of these, 93 were women and 58 men. 28 people have found jobs, began studies or received other support identified by the project.


One positive side effect of the project is the introduction of Lex Heller, a tool used by project staff to report when systemic problems are detected and to suggest ideas about what can be done differently. So far, 15 systemic problems have been received.


“This has engaged employees and made them feel more involved in the process,” says Ola Andersson.

Bild i högerkolumnProject brochure

Inclusive rehabilitation

Programme area:

2.1 Improve transition to labour market


Western Sweden

Project owner:

Coordination Association Hisingen

Read more

To the project in our projectbank.