OBJECTIVE. Many of the estimated 9.8 million American adults with serious mental illness (SMI) want to engage in employment and education, yet the majority report a need for more skills training. This review presents evidence for the effectiveness of interventions that occupational therapy practitioners can provide to help people with SMI improve and maintain performance and participation in employment and education.

METHOD. Citations, abstracts, and full-text articles in databases including MEDLINE, PsycINFO, CINAHL, OTseeker, and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews were reviewed for inclusion and analysis.

RESULTS. Fifty-seven articles met criteria for inclusion. For employment, strong evidence was found for the Individual Placement and Support (IPS) model and cognitive interventions. For education, moderate evidence was found for supported education interventions.

CONCLUSION. This systematic review supports the role of occupational therapy practitioners in promoting the implementation of IPS, cognitive-based, and social skills programs to improve vocational and educational outcomes for adults with SMI.

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