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June 2014

Get into Work

WELCOME to the May / June edition of Get into Work - a newsletter focused on the roll out of Individual Placement and Support in WA.

IN THIS ISSUE: IPS project extended; Real life stories; New IPS sites and IPS achieves mainstream media coverage.

In this issue

  1. Wise investment creates more employment opportunities
  2. Scott's new horizon
  3. In her stride
  4. IPS growing in south metro area
  5. Dr Rachel Perkins & Dr Geoff Waghorn talk IPS
  6. Armadale complete IPS training and baseline fidelity review
  7. Mental health is everybody's business
  8. IPS goes to air
  9. Work it out manual
  10. Workplace mental health
  11. A new look for youthbeyondblue

Wise investment creates more employment opportunities

WITH four Individual Placement and Support sites established in Western Australia, the Mental Health Commission has extended funding for IPS in 2014/15 to assist in developing new IPS services.

These funds will allow WAAMH to hone its IPS service delivery, develop IPS skills and training, maintain existing sites and hopefully establish new IPS sites in WA.

WAAMH applauds the extended funding as Armadale, Bentley, and Fremantle join Broome in offering integrated mental health and supported employment services using the IPS model.

It is hoped another four sites can be established to offer jobseekers an opportunity to pursue their employment goals and aspirations, while adding further value to mental health and employment service provision.

More on IPS.

More on the Mental Health Commission

Scott's new horizon

SCOTT was referred to IPS in March by his Mental Health Service.  Although having a diagnosis of Schizoaffective Disorder, and history of aggression and abuse of illicit and prescription drugs; Scott remained highly motivated to gain employment.

Scott had already achieved some personal goals including: addressing his substance use, continuing with reducing treatment by attending support services; maintaining stability in his mental health; and continuing to engage in support from his Mental Health Service.

Since commencing the IPS Program and working with his Disability Employment Service provider, ORS, Scott has chosen a vocational goal based on his preferences, researched skills and qualifications required for this type of work.  ORS assisted with the development of a resume that he was happy with, and with relevant short term training courses.

Scott completed an Aviation Security Course with a local training provider, and passed with flying colours.  Scott was one of 15 applicants who was selected to attend a job interview upon completion.

Although Scott was unsuccessful, his care coordinator at HORIZONS reported a significant difference in him. Despite missing out on the job opportunity, Scott presented very bright and positive to the staff, which they’d never before - he had even cut his hair to improve his presentation.

ORS is currently working with other team members for job interviews with security companies around Perth. It is currently waiting to hear from a very large employer about an interview within the next week for a position. With the help of ORS and the IPS program, Scott has also decided he’s open to disclosing his mental illness to potential employers and can see the benefit of having their support.

In her stride

Caption: Jacqui MacKenzie is a Consumer Participant for the Individual Placement & Support Program (IPS) at Fremantle Hospital Mental Health Service.

DIAGNOSED with a mental health illness at just 18, Jacqui MacKenzie has been living with her illness longer than she has been living without it.

Having employment has been essential to her recovery and sense of purpose.

With the help of IPS and an employment agency, MacKenzie received help to develop a cover letter, attend interviews and become more confident.

She is now an IPS advocate herself and helps people in a similar situation to find work.

Despite some troubled times in her past including hospital admissions, MacKenzie said she's in a good place now in her life.

“I try to take a proactive approach in my life,” MacKenzie said. “I try and think what is the best thing for me to do and what is the best lifestyle for me.”

How Jacqui got involved
MacKenzie became a part of the IPS program through her work on the Consumer Advisory Group (CAG) at the Alma Street Centre. This group advocates for consumers and carers of the Mental Health Service at Fremantle Hospital.

It was suggested MacKenzie first join the IPS program during a CAG meeting and was then guided through the process by staff at the Fremantle Hospital Mental Health Service.

“They were very gentle and sent me lots of emails regarding reading to do for IPS,” MacKenzie said. "I was involved at every single stage along the way.”

After spending some time in and out of work herself, MacKenzie felt it was important to be involved with IPS.

 “I know what it’s like to have a job and I know what it’s like to not have a job,” she said. “I can understand from the consumer perspective what it’s like to be out of work and what it’s like to gain work.”

What skills did she develop?
MacKenzie’s involvement in the IPS program has enabled her to develop and enhance a number of different skills.

From reading and interpreting information to preparing questions and conducting interviews, MacKenzie said she’s come a long way from the beginning.

“I have learnt new skills like … public speaking which I’m quite nervous about … and I can say I’ve done it now,” she said. “I got a really good response from the Disability Employment Service Providers … so it was very successful.”

MacKenzie said being involved with IPS was very mentally stimulating and engaging, and she felt included and respected among her colleagues.

Her unique approach
MacKenzie felt very strongly about her role as a Consumer Participant for IPS and was very excited about the program being established at the Fremantle Mental Health Service.

MacKenzie provides a unique understanding in terms of what she can offer her clients.

“I just try to be the best consumer representative that I can,” she said. “I just want to give the client the best support from my perspective and what I can do with the IPS program so that they get the best benefit out of it.

“I feel quite honoured to be a part of it. I think it’s going to be very exciting for the Fremantle Mental Health Service … and I think it will help a lot of people.”

MacKenzie said employment was especially important for people with a mental illness.

“Work structures your time, you feel like you’re contributing to society, you get paid … and you have that sense of camaraderie with your workmates,” she said.

“It helps with routine and routine is very important if you’ve got a mental illness as it helps balance out your lifestyle. I am a big advocate for IPS and because I’ve been involved right from the start … I can say that I think it is a very well-thought out program."

IPS growing in south metro area

TWO new IPS partnerships launched in Fremantle and Bentley are extending opportunities for people with mental health issues in the south metropolitan area to achieve their employment goals.

The Alma Street Centre in Fremantle has secured two IPS employment specialists to assist people with experience of mental health issues to access and retain competitive employment.

A formal IPS partnership was made between Fremantle Mental Health Service and employment providers Community First and The ORS Group.

Bentley Mental Health Services has become the third IPS site to officially launch in the south metro area.  Helen Ayres along with the IPS steering committee have welcomed Kyle Tally from The ORS Group as their newly appointed IPS specialist. Kyle will be based at Bentley four days a week providing a full suite of employment support from referral to post placement support.

Bentley hosted its official launch and presentation to the service on May 29 and kick-started the IPS program with 12 referrals. 

Potential jobseekers across the south metropolitan area now have the opportunity to access IPS services at Armadale, Bentley and Fremantle.

Dr Rachel Perkins & Dr Geoff Waghorn talk IPS

DURING May, a dual presentation featuring Dr Rachel Perkins and Dr Geoff Waghorn explored the international experience of IPS implementation and the national findings of IPS service provision in NSW.

Around 90 participants from various organisations were also given the opportunity to participate in a panel discussion.

Dr Perkins has worked in various roles spanning 30 years in the mental health sector. She has a background in clinical psychology which compliments her lived experience, giving her a dynamic and special set of skills.

Dr Waghorn is based at The Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research and has just published a study of four IPS sites in NSW demonstrating employment outcomes in alignment with international benchmarks.

Dr Waghorn presented findings from the NSW sites delivering evidence-based supported employment services and his contribution to monitoring and evaluation training for all participating DES and MHS in the IPS program.

View Dr Perkins and Dr Waghorn's presentations here.

Armadale complete IPS training and baseline fidelity review

ARMADALE IPS steering committee recently participated in a half-day training session on IPS. The training was specifically designed to understand and apply evidence-based practice to supported employment.

Members were required to work in an integrated way to explore the core IPS practice principles, identify key enablers of successful IPS partnerships and directly align the IPS model to the recovery philosophy. The steering committee was able to explore the fidelity scale and specific anchors and see how their level of implementation and participation has a direct impact on their fidelity rating.

One participant described the training as an “overall a great presentation, engaging and interactive.” WAAMH looks forward to supporting additional IPS partnerships with training as further IPS services launch.

Mental health is everybody's business

WORKPLACES and schools were on the agenda in WAAMH's lift-out, "State of Wellbeing" published in partnership with The West Australian on May 23.

IPS State Project Lead Philleen Dickson featured in an article on IPS for finding employment, among other useful articles and interviews.

Thank you to all our members and associates which featured in the lift-out. Without your support, this informative resource could not have reached the wider community, in an aim to improve mental health.

The next lift-out will be in support of Mental Health Week and published in early October. We'll keep you updated for opportunities to contribute.

Click here to read the digital version of State of Wellbeing.

IPS goes to air

IPS has received significant mainstream media attention over the pas two months, including its debut on on the 7.30 Report. See the footage here.

The interview on 7:30 Report highlighted University of Melbourne Director of Psychosocial Research Professor Eoin Killackey's 'Tell Them They’re Dreaming' report.

It's the first Australian-based comprehensive report outlining specific recommendations including the implementation of IPS in the Headspace suites for youth and IPS integration between Mental Health Services and DES for adults living with enduring mental health issues.

IPS also featured in the Community News Fremantle Gazette in May, showcasing the new Fremantle program. Read the front page article here.

Work it out manual

A  NEW manual is for helping young people with psychosis has been released by Orygen Youth Health.

'Working it Out: Vocational Recovery in First Episode Psychosis' is available for mental health services on the Orygen Youth Health website.

The manual presents evidence and clinical expertise to help services establish and implement a vocational recovery program to assist young people affected by psychosis and their families.

The manual is based on the vocational recovery program developed at the Orygen Youth Health in Melbourne.

It is available for purchase here:

Workplace mental health

A SURVEY conducted by beyond blue and the Mentally Healthy Workplace Alliance has found that employees rank mental health in the workplace as a top priority.

The survey, released as part of Australian-first campaign Heads Up, revealed that workplace mental health ranked second after pay as the most important factor when choosing a new job.

Researchers surveyed over 1,000 Australian workers and found that they valued a mentally healthy workplace and would leave a job if it impacts negatively on their mental health.

The Heads Up campaign launched by beyond blue and the Mentally Healthy Workplace Alliance in May 2014 encourages business leaders to take action in the workplace on mental health problems such as depression and anxiety.

Download the Return on investment analysis report

Visit Heads Up to customise a program for your workplace.

A new look for youthbeyondblue

A RANGE of new resources about depression and anxiety specially designed for young people will be made available on the youthbeyondblue website.

With a mission to empower young people between the ages of 12-25 who experience mental health issues, youthbeyondblue have completely redesigned their website making it more functional and accessible.

Site users can access current information, view videos, locate a doctor and connect with others through online forums.

For further information visit:

WA Association for Mental Health

City West Lotteries House
2 Delhi Street, West Perth
WA 6005


Tel 08 9420 7277
Fax 08 9420 7280