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June 2015

Get into Work

This is your bi-monthly edition of the Get into Work newsletter for the Individual Placement and Support (IPS) program in Western Australia.


In this issue

  1. Dr Geoff Waghorn inducted into the Disability Employment Australia Hall of Fame
  2. Employment options brighter
  3. Getting to the Core– Work Incentives/ Benefits/ Financial Counselling
  4. National Disability Employment Framework – WAAMH joins the consultative process
  5. Expert reference group to drive change in mental health

Dr Geoff Waghorn inducted into the Disability Employment Australia Hall of Fame

WESTERN Australia's peak body for mental health, the WA Association for Mental Health (WAAMH) recognises and celebrates the contributions of Dr Geoffrey Waghorn to the employment sector with his well deserving place in the Disability Employment Australia Hall of Fame.

Widely known both in Australia and internationally for his research and promotion of the Individual Placement and Support (IPS) Model, Dr Geoffrey Waghorn has been an instrumental mentor during the implementation of IPS in WA.

With more than 40 articles written on evidence-based practice in the area of psychiatric disability, Geoff’s articulation of reinforcing better employment support services is well documented. 

His support, efforts and contributions both in Australia and beyond have shaped important changes in perceptions and attitudes towards people with significant psychosocial disability and their capacity to enjoy meaningful competitive employment as a part of their recovery.

Employment options brighter

THE IPS service partnership between Rockingham Peel Group (RkPG) and Forrest Personnel was launched in Rockingham recently.  Individuals who identify paid employment as part of their recovery plans will benefit from this new local partnership developed to provide the necessary specialist support to obtain employment.

RkPG executive director Geraldine Carlton welcomed the introduction of the service to the region.

“The World Health Organisation has highlighted that people with a mental illness have poor outcomes for gaining and maintaining employment,” Ms Carlton said. “This service will offer people who live with mental health issues a significant opportunity to realise their employment goals and potential.”

RkPG co-director mental health service Anthony Collier said the service would be run with an experienced employment service that focused on promoting independence and inclusion.

“This can only mean a brighter future for many in our community,” Mr Collier said.

Picture includes:  Representatives from RkPG, Forrest Personnel and WAAMH at the launch of Rockingham and Peel’s IPS service.

Getting to the Core– Work Incentives/ Benefits/ Financial Counselling

THIS edition's core principle we explore is Benefits Counselling.

Benefits Counselling is an important UPS core practice principle as it reinforces choice and control for individuals wanting to seek competitive employment. 

Work incentives, planning or benefits counselling refers to job seekers being offered access to comprehensive, accurate and timely and individualised financial information in order to make informed choices regarding how their income support payments may be affected or how potential earnings may impact on benefit or support entitlements.

A return to work may be daunting if income support is at risk and fear of losing allowances is a major reason why individuals may not want to seek employment.  

Good work incentives planning ideally take place prior to a person accepting a job and examine if there will be any changes to rate of pay or hours of work.  It includes information on Centrelink payment reporting requirements, housing, and childcare and health benefits.

The Financial Councillors Associate of WA has a comprehensive website with free financial counselling helpline 1800 007 007 and details of local free, confidential and independent financial counsellors for face-face appointment bookings.

National Disability Employment Framework – WAAMH joins the consultative process

WAAMH recently attended two of the Department of Social Services (DSS) consultation forums.

A new taskforce has been established to review the entire disability employment system and develop a National Disability Employment Framework to boost employment rates for people with disability.

The Taskforce is leading a national public consultation to better understand what is and is not working in the current service system and find ways to improve on this approach. They want to hear from people with disability, their families and carers, service providers, employers and peak bodies to explore ways to improve disability employment in Australia.

The Issues Paper,, outlines what the Australian Government is currently doing to help people with disability find and keep jobs. It also poses questions to encourage discussion.

The first round of public consultations closed in June in preparation for a discussion paper to be released in August 2015. A further round of consultations will be held in August and September 2015.

You can share your opinion in person at a public forum or by making a written submission.  DSS are particularly interested in the following topics:
• Workforce Participation of People with Disability
• Different needs of People with Disability
• Principles for Changes to Disability Employment Services
• National Disability Insurance Scheme
• Personal Helpers and Mentors
• Australian Disability Enterprises
• Disability Employment Services
• Job Services Australia
• Support for Employers.
For more information, go to DSS Engage at:

Disability Employment Taskforce
PO Box 7576
Canberra Business Centre ACT 2610

Expert reference group to drive change in mental health

LAST year the National Mental Health Commission conducted review of mental health programs and services across Australia.

The final report was provided to the Commonwealth government with a main focus on prevention, early detection and treatment, the prevention of suicide, research and mental health workforce development and the reduction of the burden of disease caused by mental illness.

Guiding the implementation of the Commission’s review into mental health programs and services, will be a newly appointed expert reference group, responsible for directly tackling the individual, social and economic costs of mental ill-health.  

Find out more about the expert reference group that will be actioning change in the national mental health sector here:

WA Association for Mental Health

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


Tel 08 9420 7277
Fax 08 9420 7280