Supported education toolkit: tools and guidelines for organizations and professionals working with students with psychiatric disabilities

Jacomijn Hofstra (Editor), L. Korevaar (Editor)

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People with psychiatric disabilities frequently experience difficulties in pursuing higher education. For instance, the nature of their disability and its treatment, stigmatization and discrimination can be overwhelming obstacles. These difficulties can eventually lead to early school leaving and consequently to un- or underemployment. Unfortunately, support services for (future) students with psychiatric disabilities are often not available at colleges and universities or at mental health organizations.For the social inclusion and (future) labor opportunities of people with psychiatric disabilities it is of the utmost importance that they have better access to higher education, and are able to complete such study successfully. Supported Education is a means to reach these goals. Supported Education is defined as the provision of individualized, practical support and instruction to assist people with psychiatric disabilities to achieve their educational goals (Anthony, Cohen, Farkas, & Gagne, 2002).The main aim of the ImpulSE project (see Appendix 1 for information about the project's organization) was the development of a toolkit for Supported Education services for (future) students with psychiatric disabilities. The toolkit is based upon needs and resources assessments from the four participating countries, as well as good practices from these.Secondly, a European network of Supported Education (ENSEd) is initiated, starting with a first International Conference on Supported Education. The aim of ENSEd is to raise awareness in the EU about the educational needs of (future) students with psychiatric disabilities and for services that help to remove the barriers for this target group.The toolkit is aimed at students’ counselors, trainers, teachers and tutors, mental health managers and workers, and local authority officials involved in policymaking concerning people with psychiatric disabilities. It enables field workers to improve guidance and counseling to (future) students with psychiatric disabilities, supporting them in their educational careers.In the Netherlands alone, it is estimated that six per cent of the total student population suffers from a psychiatric disability—that is, a total of 40,000 students. On a European scale, the number of students with a psychiatric disability is therefore considerably high. We hope that through the project these students will be better empowered to be successful in their educational careers and that their chances in the labor market and their participation in society at large will be improved.
Translated title of the contributionToolkit begeleid leren
Original languageEnglish
PublisherHanze University of Applied Sciences Groningen - Research and Innovation Center for Rehabilitation
Number of pages144
ISBN (Print)978-90-823480-5-7
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2016


  • supported education
  • early school leaving
  • students with psychiatric disabilities


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