One of Australia’s leading mental health organisations, headspace will continue to help young people with mental illness find meaningful employment following a Government funding boost of $17 million.
The investment will expand the job placement and other support services offered through the Individual Placement and Support (IPS) trial at 14 of headspace’s rural and regional centres for another two years, to 10 new sites.
Chief Executive Officer of headspace Jason Trethowan welcomes the funding and says it will help the 1 in 4 young people who present at a headspace centre and are not engaged in work or study.
“There is a two-way link before youth unemployment and mental health; young people not being engaged in work can lead to poor mental health and young people with poor mental health are less likely to engage in work.”
“It is crucial to fill the hap in early intervention support for those vulnerable young people failing to effectively engage in traditional job-seeking or Disability Employment Services.”
Minister for Families and Social Services Paul Fletcher recognises the importance of mental health support, estimating 560,000 Australian children and adolescents have a mental illness impacting their ability to gain employment.
“Participants can access supports including job coaching, assistance navigating community support services and Centrelink systems, targeted education and/or employment opportunities and on-the-job support.”
Assistant Minister for Social Services, Housing and Disability Services Sarah Henderson also welcomes the funding.
“This $17 million in funding is on top of the Liberal-National Government’s strong commitment in delivering the largest ever investment into mental health in Australian history.”
The 10 new headspace sites will be selected in 2019 with a focus on areas where higher rates of disadvantage and unemployment are present and expect to be operational by 1 July 2019.
The success of the IPS trial has been evident since its launch on 1 November 2016, with 50 percent of 879 participants (up until April 2018) achieving an education or employment placement.
“Together with other major reforms in the disability sector, innovative programs like the Trial are helping lead the way for improved mental health in Australia,” Mr Fletcher says.