headspace Onkaparinga provides employment support for young people

headspace Onkaparinga provides employment support for young people

Young people are more likely to be affected by unemployment and underemployment than those in other age groups across Australia.

Not being able to obtain employment or engage in education can have a range of negative impacts on a young person’s mental health and future career trajectory.

There are many challenges that young people face in achieving meaningful employment, challenges that are intensified for those who are experiencing mental illness.

The Individual Placement and Support (IPS) program forms part of the Australian Government’s broader Youth Employment Strategy aimed at tackling the problem of high youth unemployment. The IPS program is funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services and integrates employment and vocational services with mental health and non-vocational support.

Sonder has successfully delivered the IPS program for young people at its headspace Edinburgh North centre since 2017 as well as a modified version for migrants and refugees at Sonder Edinburgh North and Port Adelaide and clients in headspace Adelaide’s Early Psychosis program.

Participants of the program are able to access a variety of supports including job coaching, assistance navigating community support services and Centrelink systems, targeted education and/or employment opportunities, as well as on-the-job support for as long as needed.

Following an evaluation of the program which recognised the benefits of IPS, the Government announced an expansion of the IPS program at a further 26 headspace sites, bringing the total number of sites to 50.

In addition to headspace Edinburgh North, Sonder also operates headspace Adelaide, Marion and Onkaparinga and was delighted to hear that headspace Onkaparinga was amongst the headspace centres to have been selected for the expansion.

From July 1 2021, young people at headspace Onkaparinga will have access to tailored, one-on-one support to help them find work or study opportunities.

We are delighted that headspace Onkaparinga was selected as one of the centres to deliver IPS. At Sonder, we truly believe in the IPS model. There is clear evidence that obtaining and maintaining employment is vital for a person’s sense of wellbeing,” said Sageran Naidoo, CEO at Sonder.

“Paid employment not only provides financial security, it also gives daily structure, a sense of worth and regular supportive social engagement. This in turn leads to a reduction in depression and anxiety symptoms, increased access to resources to cope with demands, enhanced social status and unique opportunities for personal development.”

Steven Wright, Executive Manager, Youth Services at Sonder added

Whilst employment has positive impacts on mental health, unemployment has a negative impact. There is strong evidence suggesting that periods of unemployment have negative effects on a young person’s mental health, and can also limit their future employment prospects.

Young people interested in participating in the headspace Employment Support program at headspace Edinburgh North or headspace Onkaparinga should speak to their Worker and let them know that they would like some support in looking for work or study opportunities.

To be eligible for the program, the individual must:

  • Be a young person aged 15-25 who is experiencing mental illness;
  • Be an eligible client of headspace Edinburgh North, headspace Onkaparinga or Sonder’s emerge program;
  • Have employment, education or training goals and be facing barriers to achieving these goals, and
  • Be willing to participate in the service and able to make an informed decision to participate.

For more information, visit sonder.net.au/employment-support-for-young-people or contact the friendly team at headspace Onkaparinga on (08) 8186 8600 or headspace Edinburgh North on (08) 8209 0700.