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December 2015

Get into Work - November / December

Welcome to the Individual Placement and Support (IPS) bi-monthly newsletter, published by the peak body for community mental health, the Western Australian Association for Mental Health (WAAMH).

More on IPS here

In this issue

Getting to the core: a Disability Employment Service (DES) provider's perception on Zero Exclusion
WA funds research for IPS
IPS for young people
Disability employment framework – round two of consultations
Implementing IPS across mental health services
Planning post-employment support for people with psychiatric disability
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

STEVE Cook, DES Manager from Kimberley Personnel provides a practitioner’s interpretation of the IPS third core practice principle, Zero Exclusion. This principle lies at the heart of an IPS program, and ensures all individuals who are motivated to find employment have equal opportunity to be referred to their program.

Getting to the core: a Disability Employment Service (DES) provider's perception on Zero Exclusion

ON face value, Zero Exclusion means that no individual can be excluded from an IPS program for any reason; whether they are well or not, whether they are ‘using’ or not, whether they have negative behaviours, poor hygiene or weight issues. In reality though, there is a little bit more to it.

Zero Exclusion does not mean that a person with a severe mental illness will automatically be accepted into an IPS program. It means that a person with a mental illness, ‘who shows a keen willingness to pursue employment as part of their recovery’1.  will not be excluded on any other grounds (as long as they are assessed as eligible by the Department of Human Services*). It is this demonstrated willingness that confirms their genuine interest in the program, and equally predicts their likelihood of success.

The IPS principle of Zero Exclusion is based on the exclusion of the opinions of anyone else, but the individual. It is not for the parents, support workers, Carers, Case Managers, Doctors, the Butcher the Baker, and not even the Candle Stick Maker to make this decision and push someone into the program.

IPS principles are shaped around the individual and therefore the choice to nominate for a place in the program must be the person’s own choice. IPS is simply not relevant to a person who has not chosen the path for themselves. If somebody makes the decision to participate on behalf of the person, the participant may need to be carried all the way, which is an exhausting prospect.

The exclusion of pressure from third parties is imperative to the success of the program and also for raising interest amongst people with mental illness who at first do not express the same willingness. An individual’s arrival at their own decision is key to their and the program’s success, and while mental illness is not infectious, success is. If people coming into the program are achieving positive outcomes, others will begin to take notice, gain confidence and develop a ‘keen willingness’ of their own.

What Zero Exclusion means, then, is that when a person with a mental illness wants support to pursue employment, and for as long as they continue to demonstrate their commitment to this course, the doors will be well and truly open. If a person changes their mind or loses interest they should have the option to leave** the program, with encouragement to re-apply in the future when their ‘keen willingness to pursue employment’ returns.

Steve Cook, DES Manager, Kimberley Personnel
* IPS is not a funded program in its own right but is provided in Western Australia by Federally contracted Disability Employment Service (DES) Providers and eligibility for these services is determined by DHS assessors
**people who are dependent upon some Centrelink payments may be obliged to look for work and remain with their Employment Service Provider even though they are not keen to be in the IPS program

1.Forrest Personnel’s Quality of Care Report 2014-15


WA funds research for IPS

THE State Health Research Advisory Council (SHRAC) and the Department of Health (WA), encourage research and translation of outcomes into health care policy and practice through Research Translation Projects. The focus is to advance health and medical research in WA, and show improved cost effectiveness to WA Health while maintaining or improving patient outcomes.

Bentley Hospital's Professor Alex John (UWA), was one of a strong field of applicants selected to share in nearly $2 million of grant funding to investigate the “Effectiveness of integrating cognitive remediation and individual placement and support programmes on occupational, cognitive and healthcare outcomes in people with schizophrenia”. Having seen the benefits of IPS first hand, the team at Bentley were excited to be given the opportunity to undertake the research. It is hoped the two year research project will yield stimulating findings and add value to the growing research base around IPS.


IPS for young people

A new IPS collaboration between DES provider Campbell Page, Orygen Youth Mental Health and Headspace (Craigieburn and Glenroy in Melbourne Victoria), is helping young people with mental health issues prepare, search for and sustain employment. 

The team recently launched their service involving Employment Specialists connecting with young people and understanding the issues they face to better support them into meaningful jobs. IPS Employment Specialist, Terri Pozvek (pictured left) and Lisa Smart from Campbell Page Mental Health Services (pictured right) were involved in the collaboration.

Headspace Craigieburn’s Clinical Services Manager, Brendan Pawsey, said it was important that young people who came through their doors had access to high-quality vocational support. Participants in the program spoke of IPS as a support that boosted their confidence when looking for work. Learn more about Mathew Ely's personal experience of IPS, here.

This newly formed collaboration aligns to the federal government’s recent commitment to assist young people living with mental health conditions up to the age of 25, address their vocational goals. The government's response to Contributing Lives, Thriving Communities Review specifically identifies the IPS model as an innovative approach to assisting young people into the workforce. Click here to read the response.


Disability employment framework – round two of consultations

THROUGH a review of the national disability employment system, the federal government are developing a new National Disability Employment Framework aiming to improve employment outcomes for people with a disability.

Information on the first round of consultation, including the consultation report and issues paper is on the round one engagement page.

Public information sessions were held nationwide in November, and the taskforce provided information about their work, including feedback from the first round of consultation. The four proposed policy areas outlined in the discussion paper were also explained.

The second round of consultations, and an online survey about the new framework, closed early in December and feedback was sought about how proposed key policies may look in the future, and what impacts they may have on how people using DES. For more information, read round two of consultations.


Implementing IPS across mental health services

IN a previous edition, the IPS team acknowledged the exceptional work of Catherine Skate, highlighting her work and partnership with the Blacktown Mental Health Service.  As an IPS champion, Catherine has been instrumental in changing practice within the mental health sector. In Australia, a layer of complexity exists within the Commonwealth and State jurisdictions of health, disability and employment. The enablers and challenges of the IPS partnership process, and co-location of an Employment Specialist are highlighted in the link below. 

Services involved in the early stages of preparing to partner to deliver IPS services, can find out how services changed to meet the needs of individuals seeking employment, and how clinical staff engaged in the process. Find out how systems were developed to capture baseline data for fidelity reviews, database reporting and promotion of good news stories. 

Learn more from interviews with Catherine (Kate) Skate, Vocational Consultant and Occupational Therapist, here.


Planning post-employment support for people with psychiatric disability

Journal of Rehabilitation Volume 81, Issue No 3. Page 21-33.  Waghorn, Hielsher & Shields.

RESEARCH published in the Journal of Rehabilitation on Planning Post Employment Support for People with Psychiatric Disability gathers what is already known about post-employment support and tenure, and collects the views of experienced practitioners on how to conceptualise and plan post-employment support in the workplace. Click here to read the journal article.


Journeys to work: the perspective of client and employment specialist of 'individual placement and support' in action

Lynne Miller, Suzanne Clinton-Davis and Tina Meegan

READ a personal account of a journey back to work, from the perspective of both the individual entering employment and the Employment Specialist who assisted them. This paper adds to the evidence and effectiveness of IPS. Click here to read the paper.


Tips to maintain your mental health this Christmas

THE festive season can be a stressful time, and it is important to have strategies to stay mentally, physically and emotionally well over the holiday break. 

Check out Super friend and their 12 tips to stay healthy by:

1. Planning and sticking to a budget
2. Limiting your Christmas spend
3. Taking advantage of early shopping or shopping online
4. Delegating tasks and keeping things simple when cooking Christmas dinner
5. Managing your feelings and maintaining relationships during the festivities
6. Aiming to be moderate – eating healthy food and limiting alcohol
7. Keep moving and being active
8. Getting rest, sleep and taking time to rest the mind
9. Keeping in touch, connecting with those who may be lonely or isolated
10. Remembering those that have experienced a significant loss through bereavement
11. Looking back on the year with positivity
12. Giving back to others through random acts of kindness.

Read the SuperFriend article in full.


Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

THE IPS team at WAAMH wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and prosperous 2016.


Kind Regards
IPS Team

WA Association for Mental Health


1.Forrest Personnel’s Quality of Care Report 2014-15

WA Association for Mental Health

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


Tel 08 9420 7277
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