Fri, 25 Jan - 12:10
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Joint Media Release: Innovative online program to provide much needed support to youth nationally

The Liberal-National Government today announced $2.4 million in funding for the Digital Work and Study Service, to provide thousands of young Australians with mental illness work and study support via a digital platform.

Minister for Families and Social Services, Paul Fletcher said the funding is part of a broader commitment to improving the lives of young people with mental illness.

The $2.4 million in funding builds on the announcement earlier this week for a $17m extension and expansion of the Individual Placement and Support Trial.

Assistant Minister for Social Services, Housing and Disability Services, Sarah Henderson, visited a headspace satellite office in Drysdale, near Geelong, today to explain how the innovative and accessible online platform would better support young people on the Bellarine.

“We know digital services are an effective method of engagement for young people,” Ms Henderson said.

“This service works through web chat, video conferencing, email and phone—allowing young people to access the service wherever they are—whether that be our youth here on the Bellarine, in Geelong, or any other regional area or capital city.

“Young people will be able to use the service to create a resume, plan their career, search for jobs, and collaborate with employers,” Ms Henderson said.

“This digital platform complements headspace face-to-face services around Australia, with young people usually receiving a referral to the service from a headspace location.

“With mental health such a huge concern for our young people, I am pleased the Liberal-National Government is delivering this innovative online program”. Ms Henderson said.

“This funding builds on the Liberal-National Government’s record investment in mental health,” Mr Fletcher said.  

The Liberal-National Government announced earlier this month that it will provide $1.45 billion for community mental health over the next three years, including $617m for youth mental health.

Minister Fletcher confirmed the online services, trialled since 2017, will be funded for an additional two years and run by headspace on a national basis.

During the trial period, the services helped more than 600 young people and provided more than 5,000 work or study services.

For more information on the Digital Work and Study Service, visit the headspace website.