Tue, 22 Jan 2019 - 10:46

Joint Media Release: Liberal-National Government’s $17m boost to help young Australians with mental illness find work

The Liberal-National Government will help more young Australians with mental illness to enter the workforce, allocating $17 million of increased funding for an innovative trial that co-locates job placement and other support services with youth mental health services.

Under the Individual Placement and Support (IPS) trial, employment and vocational services are co-located at headspace facilities around Australia, so they can supplement the organisation’s clinical mental health support for young people.

Federal Minister for Families and Social Services, Paul Fletcher MP said the new funding will allow these additional job placement and other support services to be provided for a further two years at 14 headspace sites around Australia.

“The funding will also allow these additional job placement and other support services to be provided at a further 10 headspace sites,” Mr Fletcher said.

“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.

“It is estimated that about 560,000 Australian children and adolescents have a mental illness and this can impact on their ability to get a job.”

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.

Assistant Minister for Social Services, Housing and Disability Services, Sarah Henderson, 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,” Ms Henderson said.

“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.”

Our Government has prioritised better mental health for all Australians with $4.7 billion expected to be spent on mental health this financial year.

Mr Fletcher said the additional 10 IPS trial sites are expected to be operational by 1 July 2019.

“Since the Trial launched on 1 November 2016, the results have been very promising.

Of the 879 participants who were in the Trial to April 2018, 50 per cent achieved an education or employment placement during the Trial,” Mr Fletcher said.

“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.

“Only the Coalition can guarantee essential services through our plans for a strong budget and a strong economy.”