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Breaking barriers for Goldfields youth

The Morrison Government is investing in innovative strategies to address the barriers preventing people with mental illness in the Goldfields from finding and keeping a job.

Federal Member for O’Connor Rick Wilson said the Government has committed $45.7 million in new funding to extend two programs dedicated to helping young people with mental illness to join the workforce.

The funding will be used to run the evidence-based Individual Placement and Support Program (IPS) at Kalgoorlie Headspace and to support headspace National to continue the Digital Work and Study Service.

The IPS program aims to improve educational and employment outcomes of young people aged up to 25 with mental illness.

The program combines employment and vocational services with clinical mental health and non-vocational support, and focuses on the individual needs of people with mental illness who are seeking to enter, or remain in, education or employment.

“This is fantastic news for the Goldfields because we know career assistance hand-in-hand with clinical support can make a profound difference in the lives of young people and ensure they can reach their full potential,” Mr Wilson said.

“A job is a game-changer and that is why the government is so focussed on helping people to get into work.

“This program has never been more important given we have seen young people disproportionately affected by COVID-19 in terms of jobs losses which we know can compound the mental health impact so many are feeling as a result of the pandemic.

“This innovative program is already running in my electorate at Albany Headspace and we are seeing positive outcomes for young people with mental illness.”

Professor Patrick McGorry, executive director of Orygen, which runs the program with headspace, welcomed the Government’s commitment to making a real lasting difference in the lives of people who face barriers to work.

“The onset of mental illness often occurs in young people which, by the age of 25, can significantly affect their ability to transition from study to work,” Professor McGorry said.

The expansion of the Individual Placement and Support Program will allow more than 6000 youth under the age of 25 experiencing mental illness across Australia to receive specialist vocational and employment support in tandem with clinical treatment to find and keep a job over the next four years.

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MEET RICK

I was inspired to run for Parliament following my involvement in a decade-long campaign to deregulate the wheat industry, which brought about the end of the Australian Wheat Board’s monopoly.

“I stand proudly for the Liberal philosophy of free markets, vigorous competition, small government and individual responsibility. These are the principles that guide me in my life and in this place. My track record in public life shows clearly that I am prepared to stand up for those principles.”

“To the electors of O'Connor, I reiterate the commitment that I have made to work tirelessly on your behalf, to always be frank and honest about the challenges we face, and to work cooperatively and collaboratively to improve the lives of the people who live in the greatest part of the greatest nation on earth”

– Rick Wilson MP Maiden Speech.