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September 2014

Get into Work


THIS is the bimonthly newsletter for the Individual Placement and Support (IPS) employment model in Western Australia. It's brought to you by the peak body for community mental health in the State, the Westerrn Australian Association for Mental Health (WAAMH).

For more on IPS, visit our website here.

In this issue

  1. Patrick McClure visits local IPS service
  2. Dartmouth Psychiatric Research Center hosts IPS Leadership Training
  3. Claire's new ride
  4. NDCO contributes significantly to IPS in the West
  5. Heads Up gets a thumbs up
  6. IPS State Lead presents to The ORS Group
  7. Sharing the IPS experience at TheMHS

Patrick McClure visits local IPS service

PATRICK McClure continues to spearhead the National Welfare Review and requested the opportunity to visit with a local Western Australian Individual Placement and Support service, during his recent visit to Perth.

Bentley Mental Health and The ORS Group along with Western Australian Association for Mental Health executive director Rod Astbury welcomed the opportunity for Mr McClure and reference group members to visit the site.

Together, they discussed implementation strategies and the interface between mental health services and disability employment services to deliver responsive and integrated employment services.

Caption: Members of the National Welfare Review Reference Group with Helen Ayres (Bentley Health Service) and Rosalia Dorner (ORS)

Dartmouth Psychiatric Research Center hosts IPS Leadership Training

DURING August, IPS State Project Lead Philleen Dickson travelled to New Hampshire to join 21 other internationally based IPS experts in IPS Leadership Training.

Facilitated by Dr Deborah Becker, Sarah Swanson, and Sandy Langfitt-Reese, Philleen was able to experience first-hand the exceptional calibre of expertise and knowledge from the staff supporting IPS as part of the Community Mental Health Program. 

IPS is global and WAAMH was privileged to seize the opportunity to continue to interface with international experts.

Philleen Dickson is now one of only a handful of internationally recognised IPS experts and Dartmouth trained professionals in Australia.

For IPS resources, check out the newly designed IPS Dartmouth Supported Employment Center website here:

Claire's new ride

CLAIRE initially signed up to the IPS program 12 months ago. She has a diagnosis of schizophrenia and experiences fluctuations in her wellbeing; however she is expected to be able to work a max of 7 hours per week.

For the first couple of months, Claire was apprehensive. Her engagement with services was sometimes sporadic. 

In the past couple of months, Claire began calling into her IPS Specialist on a more regular basis.

She was focused and made her goals clear and known.

“I want to do technical stuff, like mechanics, learn how to weld, work on bikes and motors,” Claire said.

Claire was always working on projects in her back yard, repairing bikes or building her own trike from scratch.

The IPS Specialist organised an assessment for a light mechanical apprenticeship. Claire performed well and turned out to be a good candidate, but the job was not sustainable.

A local member of the community, running a project fixing up bicycles and returning them to the community asked for help.

“I need someone to help me do this project. There are too many bicycles to fix up," the local community member said.

"I want someone who is passionate about bicycles, dismantling and fixing and 'pimping' them up”.

Claire was taken to the workshop the same day. She met with the employer, saw the bicycles, tools, grease and was sold.

In a perfect fit for both parties, Claire was exactly the person the project was looking for. Claire started work at least 12 hours per week, and she rides a bicycle to and from work.

This positive story demonstrates how much IPS can change lives, produce great business matches and create new beginnings for people with mental health issues.

NDCO contributes significantly to IPS in the West

NATIONAL Disability Coordinating Officer Alex Murphy has made significant contributions to the success of IPS implementation in Western Australia. Alex has been strongly involved in the former IPS State-wide steering group advocating for IPS.

Notably, Alex has been instrumental in co-hosting collaborative events such as the IPS Showcase in April 2013 and the IPS dual presentation and training in May 2014 featuring Dr Rachel Perkins and Dr Geoffrey Waghorn.

The IPS showcase was a highlight for Alex because it brought together the mental health and employment sectors and was well attended.  It was also the impetus for exposing the IPS model to interested service providers.

Alex is pleased to see five IPS partnerships, local partnership agreements in place and IPS growing.

Caption (from left):  Alex Murphy, Steve Cook.Philleen Dickson, Carli Gettingby and Colin Stevenson at the IPS Showcase day.

Heads Up gets a thumbs up

IN conjunction with the Mentally Healthy Workplace Alliance, beyondblue launched an Australian-first campaign, encouraging business leaders to take action on mental health.

Pricewaterhouse Coopers were commissioned to undertake research into the impact of mental health conditions on Australian businesses, in regards to productivity, participation and compensation claims costing more than $10 billion per annum.

beyondblue Chairman The Hon. Jeff Kennett AC said the report,  provided a convincing case for businesses to back Heads Up, a campaign to contribute practical advice about the importance of mental health in the workplace to small and big business owners.

Get the heads up app here -

Sign up and learn how to make your workplace more mentally healthy and profitable.

Read the full report by PwC here.

IPS State Lead presents to The ORS Group

TO provide a greater understanding of the importance of IPS in assisting people with mental illness return to work, The ORS Group employed the services of WAAMH IPS State Project Lead Philleen Dickson.

During ORS's recent WA Best Practice Day, Mrs Dickson shared her personal journey interwoven with IPS practitioner skills, knowledge and competencies.

The presentation was well received by the staff, who appreciated Mrs Dickson's honesty, candour and humour.

Contact Philleen Dickson at WAAMH on 9420 7277 or and discuss tailored IPS training and presentations available upon request.

Sharing the IPS experience at TheMHS

SPEAKING at The Mental Health Services conference in August, Marina Chalmers (ORS Group), Cameron Hopper (Armadale MHS) and Philleen Dickson, provided clear messages about establishing an effective IPS partnership to enhance employment outcomes in mental health and integrated supported employment services.

Employment is an essential part of recovery and this presentation highlighted how to engage people with mental health problems in meaningful employment.

The presentation outlined the implementation strategies of IPS, being an effective partner and embedding recovery, whilst maintaining the principles of the evidence based model. 

Good news stories were shared and delegates unfamiliar with the model were given the opportunity after the presentation to network with presenters.

Consumer advocate Carli Gettingby also spoke first hand at TheMHS about her own lived experience and how the IPS model helped her gain employment and regain her sense of purpose and confidence.

View the presentations here on our You Tube feed

WA Association for Mental Health

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


Tel 08 9420 7277
Fax 08 9420 7280