Media Release by Senator the Hon Mitch Fifield

Coalition Government offers jobs support for young people with mental illness

The Coalition Government will invest $1 million in a new initiative to help young people with mental illness find jobs.

The Coalition Government is committed to improving social and economic outcomes for young people with mental illness.

The one-year DES Youth Mental Health trial involves up to 200 Disability Employment Services (DES) participants with mental illness aged 24 or under.

The trial will take a new highly participant-directed, early investment approach to job seeking.

Young people with mental illness will work closely with a DES service provider to discuss their career goals and how best to meet them.

Participants will use a $5,000 ‘Career Account’ to invest in their choice of goods and services such as counselling, training, transport, paid work experience or clothing and equipment, to help them overcome non-vocational or vocational barriers and further their employment goals.

This initiative is part of the Coalition Government’s push to get a better deal for people with mental illness and young people with disability.

We want to improve the independence and participation of young people with mental illness who have been locked-out of the job market for too long.

The trial is based on evidence that early investment and individually tailored initiatives can help disadvantaged job seekers.

The trial will operate to June 2016 in an area encompassing the eastern suburbs of Melbourne, northern Brisbane suburbs, and in the northern metropolitan area of Perth.

The DES Youth Mental Health trial is one element of the Government’s broader Youth Employment Strategy, part of the 2015-16 Growing Jobs and Small Business Budget package, designed to reduce the risk of young people disengaging from education or employment and becoming reliant on long-term income support.

An evaluation of the trial will be used to inform future employment services for people with disability from 2018.