Boost for young people with mental illness in Pearce

A new initiative to help young people with mental illness to secure employment will be tested in Pearce, as part of a $1 million trial by the Australian Government to improve their social and economic outcomes.

Federal Member for Pearce, Christian Porter, said the Government wants to improve the independence and participation of young people with mental illness who have been locked-out of the job market.

Eligible Disability Employment Services (DES) participants with mental illness aged 24 or under, will have access to a one-year DES Youth Mental Health trial of a new highly participant-directed, early investment approach to job seeking.

Create Employment in Ellenbrook, Options Employment in Merriwa and Job Futures Ltd in Yanchep are eligible Disability Employment Service providers able to provide assistance to trial participants.

“This initiative will connect young people with mental illness with a DES service provider to discuss their career goals and how best to meet them,” Mr Porter said.

“Importantly, this model integrates employment and vocational support with clinical mental health and non-vocational support – focusing on the individual needs of people with mental illness who are seeking to remain in education or employment.”

Trial Participants will use a $5,000 ‘Career Account’, to invest in goods and services such as counselling, training, transport, paid work experience or clothing and equipment, to help them overcome non-vocational or vocational barriers and further their employment goals.

“Like all Australians, young people with mental illness want to work and earn a salary that is fair and reflects their skills and aspirations,” Mr Porter said.

“This trial is based on evidence that early investment and individually tailored initiatives can help reduce the risk of young people disengaging from education or employment and becoming reliant on long-term income support.”

The DES Youth Mental Health trial is one element of the Coalition Government’s broader Youth Employment Strategy, as part of the 2015-16 Growing Jobs and Small Business Budget package.

An evaluation of the trial will be used to inform future employment services for people with disability from 2018.