Young people with mental ill-health, who live in regional Victoria, will be supported to achieve their education and employment goals thanks to a new three-year partnership between RACV and youth mental health organisation Orygen.
The partnership will establish a Youth Individual Placement and Support Centre of Excellence at Orygen, which will expand and drive the implementation of Individual Placement and Support (IPS) programs for young people at sites across regional Victoria.
Under the IPS model, education and employment services are embedded alongside clinical practice within youth mental health services. Orygen research has demonstrated this can dramatically improve employment success rates, with young people participating in IPS programs being up to three times more likely to achieve employment outcomes than those participating in other employment support programs.
RACV’s General Manager of Social Impact and Corporate Communications, Louise Steinfort, said the Orygen partnership will help young Victorians negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in terms of mental health support and employment opportunities.
“There has been significant disruption to the lives of young people caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, impacting the mental health and wellbeing of many young Victorians. RACV recognises the need for more mental health services in regional Victoria that support young people and that’s why we’ve partnered with Orygen,” Ms Steinfort said.
“We have a responsibility, now more than ever during the COVID-19 crisis, to support young people experiencing mental-ill health. This partnership with Orygen aims to expand services and support young people who are experiencing mental ill-health with finding employment and educational opportunities.”
Orygen’s associate director of employment and education partnerships, Gina Chinnery, said IPS was the most evidence-based and effective form of employment support for people experiencing serious mental illness but was out of reach for many young Australians.
“We are very excited to partner with RACV to launch our youth IPS Centre of Excellence to provide expert support to mental health services, industry and the IPS workforce,” Ms Chinnery said. “This will ultimately help more young people with mental ill-health who live in regional Victoria to find work or study opportunities.”
Penelope, a young person who has found employment through an IPS program said before she joined the program she was incredibly stressed out about many things that were happening in her life and they all related to finances.
“I now have two jobs that help me support myself as well as my family members. I am grateful for the support I have received from this program,” she said.
Ms Chinnery said the first youth IPS site in regional Victoria was expected to come online in early 2021, to support young people experiencing mental illness find employment or continue their studies.
“Our research tells us that young people with mental Ill-health have the same aspirations as other young people - they want to work and study,” she said. “This partnership with the RACV will go a long way in realising these goals for young people in rural and regional Victoria.”