Youth mental health program launches

May 20, 2021 BY

A NEW service aimed at improving education and employment outcomes for young people suffering with mental ill-health has been established in Corio.

The Individual Placement and Support (IPS) is an evidence-based model of employment and education support for young people which integrates vocational support services with clinical mental health services.

IPS will operate out of Barwon Health’s Jigsaw Youth Mental Health Drugs and Alcohol Services and is just one program to be delivered as part of a three-year partnership between Orygen and RACV.

Professor Eoin Killackey, Orygen’s director of research and head of functional recovery research, said Orygen was delighted to partner with RACV to bring the IPS model to young people in the Geelong region for the first time.

He said Orygen research showed the IPS services could dramatically improve employment and educational success for young people taking part in the program.

Prof. Killackey said gaining employment and/or education was a protective factor against future experiences of mental ill-health.

“Paid employment can give a young person financial security, a daily structure, a sense of worth and regular supportive social engagement,” he said.

“Mental health benefits include a greater sense of autonomy, improved wellbeing, reduced anxiety and depression symptoms and unique opportunities for personal development.”

RACV general manager social impact and corporate communications, Louise Steinfort, said it was terrific to see the service up and running in Corio, with IPS support worker Brooke Hyland already engaging with young people in the area.

“This is a unique program tailored to the meet the needs of each individual wanting to re-join or stay in education or find employment,” Ms Steinfort said.

“Mental health services like these provide young people in regional Victoria with a better chance of reaching their goals, and that is why we have partnered with Orygen.”

Geelong mayor Stephanie Asher welcomed the establishment of the program at a launch on Friday. Main photo (from left): RACV’s Louise Steinfort, IPS support worker Brooke Hyland, Barwon Health’s Darren Riggon, Cr Asher and Orygen’s Eoin Killackey.


Speaking at the launch on Friday (May 14), Geelong mayor Stephanie Asher welcomed the establishment of the program in Corio which she said would provide important new opportunities for young people.

“The partnership between Orygen and RACV will lead to improved mental health outcomes for our young people, who have had an extremely challenging time during the pandemic and following the loss of interaction with peers,” Cr Asher said.

“Having a job and/or being involved in further study plays a significant role in a young person’s wellbeing, self-worth and motivation levels.”

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