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August 2015

Get into Work

Welcome to the July / August edition of the bi-monthly newsletter from your mental health peak body dedicated to Individual Placement and Support (IPS). IPS is an evidence-based model providing means for individuals with severe mental health issues to find competitive employment, as part of recovery.

  1. New and improved IPS steering committee training
  2. Neami National now offers IPS
  3. Osborne Park launches IPS
  4. Have your say!
  5. Evaluating IPS programs in WA
  6. Getting to the core - Rapid Job Search

New and improved IPS steering committee training

THE Western Australian Association for Mental Health has rolled out new and improved Individual Placement and Support steering committee training across its Australian IPS partnership sites.

As well as covering important topics such as IPS core practice principles, recovery and monitoring and evaluation, the training has an intense focus on leadership and partnership strategies to reinforce true integration. 

In Australia, Mental Health Services and Disability Employment Services are able to deliver an IPS supported employment program by establishing formal partnerships. However, it is often challenging bringing together two seperate organisations with different visions, missions and goals, policies and procedures.

The IPS steering committee training has a real emphasis on developing a collaborative and inclusive approach to ensure partnerships take full ownership of their IPS program.

Is your IPS steering committee training due?  Would you like our IPS team to train your staff?  You can contact us to discuss your needs 08 9420 7277 or visit our website

Picture: Philleen Dickson (WAAMH) and IPS Steering Committee Members from Peel, Rockingham Kwinana  Mental Health Service and Forrest Personnel Disability Employment Service.

Neami National now offers IPS

COMMUNITY mental health service Neami National has expanded its services to include Individual Placement and Support.

Lead by Employment Pathways Officer Kate Feder, Neami National has recruited an internal IPS employment specialist to be a fully integrated member of the Recovery and Resources Program at Hurstville in New South Wales.

As the newly appointed employment specialist, Katerina Ginis said, "employment helps recovery and helps people to improve their quality of life.”

As a collaborative, WAAMH, Neami National and Partners in Recovery have worked together in preparation for the service launch.  WAAMH provided IPS specific technical support whilst PIR have funded the project.

A formal celebration will be held late August; however Katerina is now receiving referrals and actively building relationships with local employers.
Learn more about Neami National at

Osborne Park launches IPS

THERE are exciting times ahead in North Metro as Osborne Community Mental Health Service launches its IPS service in partnership with MAX Employment. 

MAX Employment said: "A job is so much more that '9 to 5', Monday to Friday.  A job is an income, hope, social network and a chance to connect."

The IPS program has allowed employment specialist Cassie Smith to be based onsite at Osborne Park Hospital integrated into the clinical team. Cassie will be supporting people with severe and enduring mental health needs into competitive employment whilst working closely with mental health care coordinators. 

"We are really looking forward to having Cassie be a part of the team," Osborne Park Community Development Officer Ruth Langmead said. "IPS is an exciting initiative which will have huge benefits for mental health consumers at Osborne Park". 

The IPS team looks forward to working with this new North Metro partnership and hearing about all the people enjoying the benefits of competitive employment in the future.

Picture: (Left to right) Maria Lloyd-Jones(Max Employment), Ruth Langmead  (North Metro MHS), Cassie Smith (Max Employment), Kathryn Ashworth (WAAMH) and Carmen Stobie (North Metro MHS)

Have your say!

THE Willing to Work National Inquiry into Employment Discrimination against Older Australians and Australians with Disability is currently being conducted by the Australian Human Rights Commission. 

The inquiry will look at practices, attitudes and Federal laws that may deny or diminish equal participation in employment of older Australians and Australians with disability
A call for submissions and a series of consultations are to be hosted across Australia with report findings due by July 2016.  Find out more and see how to have your say here:

Evaluating IPS programs in WA

DO you want to know how many people were referred to your IPS program? 

Or are you curious about how many employment outcomes were achieved in a six or 12 month period? 

Maybe you'd prefer to know the average wage of someone who is accessing the IPS program or how many hours they've worked.

WAAMH's IPS team has listened to your feedback and we have recently updated our IPS data collection tools.

Originally designed by Dr Geoffrey Waghorn of the Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research, the tools can be utilised to monitor progress, outcomes and the efficacy of your IPS program.  It is really important the tools are used correctly and consistently.   This is the most standardised and uniformed way to collect and analyse data about evidence-based supported employment. If it is not recorded – it didn’t happen!

WAAMH IPS Project Development Officer Kathryn Ashworth visited IPS sites in July and August to deliver specific data collection training. If you have not yet taken advantage of this training please contact Kathryn directly on 08 9420 7239 to book in as soon as possible.

All sites in WA are expected to adopt the revised tools from August this year. The monthly snapshot and outcomes reports are still intended as program monitoring tools whilst the WA evaluation database remains an evaluation tool to analyse and evaluate the effectiveness of your IPS program over a minimum 12 month period.

Getting to the core - Rapid Job Search

This month's core principle is Rapid Job Search.

A primary outcome for an IPS supported employment program is for people with severe mental health issues to secure and retain competitive employment.  Rapid job search requires the employment specialist to work alongside individuals to seek competitive jobs which meet their individual preferences.  All contact and appointments should have an employment focus!

Attention should be on the job seeker - and their individual strengths, preferences, availability and abilities.

Job search activities should ideally begin within 30 days of commencing an IPS program and include employer contact. This could be face-to-face contact made by either the employment specialist, the consumer or both.

In IPS there is an immediate focus on identifying individual job goals and beginning the process of job search; as opposed to completing lengthy pre-employment assessments, training and work experience. 

Rapid job search capitalises on a person’s motivation to find competitive employment and research suggests that employment programs that follow this core practice principle demonstrate to consumers that their desire to work is being taken seriously whilst conveying optimism that there are multiple community employment opportunities available to suit their employment goals.

Check out Missouri-based clinician Claire Beck's views on the core principle of Rapid Job Search:

WA Association for Mental Health

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


Tel 08 9420 7277
Fax 08 9420 7280