A new evidence-based service aimed at supporting young people with mental ill-health back to work and study has been established at Barwon Health’s Jigsaw Youth Mental Health Drugs and Alcohol Services in Corio.
The Individual Placement and Support (IPS) service is just one program to be delivered as part of a three-year partnership between Orygen and RACV aimed at improving education and employment success for young people experiencing mental ill-health. The delivery partner for IPS is Barwon Health.
IPS is an evidence-based model of employment and education support for young people which integrates vocational support services with clinical mental health services.
Professor Eoin Killackey, Orygen’s Director of Research and Head of Functional Recovery Research, said Orygen was delighted to be partnering with RACV to bring, for the first time, the IPS model to young people in the Geelong region.
“Orygen research has demonstrated that IPS services can dramatically improve employment and educational success for young people participating in the program,” Professor Killackey said.
Professor Killackey said gaining employment and/or education was a protective factor against future experiences of mental ill-health.
“Paid employment can give a young person financial security, a daily structure, a sense of worth and regular supportive social engagement,” Professor Killackey said.
“Mental health benefits include a greater sense of autonomy, improved wellbeing, reduced anxiety and depression symptoms and unique opportunities for personal development.”
RACV General Manager Social Impact and Corporate Communications, Louise Steinfort, said RACV was delighted the service was up and running in Corio and IPS support worker Brooke Hyland has started engaging with young people in the area.
“The IPS program, as part of our partnership with Orygen, supports young people experiencing mental ill-health in the South-West,” Ms Steinfort said.
“This is a unique program tailored to the meet the needs of each individual wanting to re-join or stay in education or find employment.
“Mental health services like these provide young people in regional Victoria with a better chance of reaching their goals, and that is why we have partnered with Orygen.”
Greater Geelong Mayor Stephanie Asher welcomed the establishment of the IPS program in Corio.
“The partnership between Orygen and RACV will lead to improved mental health outcomes for our young people, who have had an extremely challenging time during the pandemic and following the loss of interaction with peers,” Mayor Asher said.
“Having a job and/or being involved in further study plays a significant role in a young person’s wellbeing, self-worth and motivation levels.”