The Liberal-National Government will help more young people with mental illness living in Dubbo to enter the workforce with a package of increased support.
Minister for Families and Social Services, Paul Fletcher MP and Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton MP have announced an additional $520,000 in funding to continue the Individual Placement and Support (IPS) Trials in partnership with headspace Dubbo.
headspace Dubbo will now be funded for a further two years to 30 June 2021 to deliver this Trial in the Dubbo area – bringing total funding to $1.3 million over five years.
“560,000 Australian children and adolescents are estimated to have a mental illness – and this can really impact on their ability to get a job,” Mr Fletcher said.
Federal Member for Parkes, Mark Coulton MP said three quarters of all mental illness strikes people under the age of 25.
“As many as one-in-four young Australians aged 16 to 24 experience mental illness in any given year and, sadly, Dubbo is not immune,” Mr Coulton said.
“headspace Dubbo does a terrific job and, through IPS, has made a real difference to the lives of 100 young locals.”
headspace Dubbo is operated by Marathon Health and offers services for mental health, sexual health and physical health, assistance with alcohol and drug issues, and work and study help.
Launched in November 2016, the Australian Government’s trial of the IPS model of employment assistance targets vulnerable young people with mental illness, aged up to 25.
“These are people who are at risk of long-term welfare dependence because they disengage from education and employment,” Mr Fletcher said.
“Through the Trial, vocational assistance is integrated into existing clinical mental health and non-vocational support services.”
Mr Fletcher said the $17m in national funding for IPS is on top of the Australian Government’s record investment in mental health in Australian history.
Dubbo is one of 14 existing IPS Trial sites around Australia that will be extended for two years. The Australian Government will also extend IPS services to another 10 sites to ensure that more young people with mental illness can access this important service.
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.
The 10 new sites will be selected in early 2019, focussing on areas across Australia with an existing headspace presence, as well as higher rates of disadvantage and unemployment.