In partnership with Hunter New England Health, local employment partner Job Centre Australia achieves outstanding employment results for candidates with mental health.
With 45 per cent of Australians aged between 16-85 experiencing a mental health condition in their lifetime, mental health is a major concern for communities across the country, not only affecting the individual, also their families, their income and overall well-being.
The partnership with Hunter New England Mental Health (HNEH) and Job Centre Australia (JCAL) commenced in 2016 with the aim of improving long term outcomes for people experiencing mental health issues, their families and the local community.
Using the Individual Placement and Support (IPS) model aimed at tackling the high rate of unemployment faced by people with mental health, the partnership integrates employment and skills-based services with clinical mental health and non-vocational support.
The IPS model has proven successful in overcoming barriers to employment by focusing on the needs of people with mental illness, who are seeking to enter or remain in the workplace, providing support with pre-employment training that complements an individual’s other treatments and therapies.
“Put simply, employment changes people’s lives and this partnership is making that happen,” JCAL Area Operations Manager Anthony Workman said. “We’re seeing wonderful success through this model, currently supporting over 170 candidates with 68 having secured meaningful employment.”
One of those candidates, Kevin*, was referred to the program after being diagnosed with a learning disability and several mental health conditions. Working together with the Lake Macquarie Mental Health Service, JCAL assisted Kevin to gain the skills he needed to achieve his employment goals.
Successfully moving from an apprentice plant mechanic to community services and gaining his MR driver’s licence, Kevin has built what will be a fulfilling career in community transportation.
“I am so grateful for everything the program has done for me – not only for me but for my family too. The team have gone out of their way and are literally changing and saving lives. I can’t thank them enough, they are amazing. We thank JCAL and HNEMH, so very much for everything.”
Emma Robson, Vocational Partnership Manager HNEH, is delighted to see the positive response and outcomes.
“JCAL have committed to providing high quality, evidence based employment support to consumers of a number of our mental health services. Their diligence to the IPS model, which has the highest evidence for obtaining employment outcomes for people with a mental health condition, is proving highly successful in building the skills and employability of all that take part.”
Anthony said the team has witnessed the success in the program outcomes, with a number of consumers successfully obtaining and maintaining competitive employment.
“We are very proud of the successes we have had and look forward to continuing to work with HNEMH to achieve even higher levels of open employment outcomes,” he said.
If you are experiencing mental health issues, and need assistance to gain or maintain your employment, visit a JCAL office at Hamilton, Mayfield or Charlestown, call on 1800 466 046.
* Name has been changed for privacy reasons.