A federally funded program helping Goulburn Valley youths who are experiencing mental illness find work is being extended so more young people can seek employment opportunities.

Federal Member for Nicholls, Damian Drum, said the Shepparton headspace site would continue to run its successful Individual Placement and Support Program that addresses barriers preventing people with mental illness from finding and keeping a job.

Mr Drum said the Federal Government would invest $1.1 million in the Shepparton headspace to continue delivering the initiative until at least 2024.

“The Federal Government is reinvesting in this program to boost local mental health and employment services in Shepparton and surrounds,” Mr Drum said.

“The Shepparton program is provided by GV Health and targets young people with mental illness who are at risk of disengaging from their employment or education, or at risk of long-term welfare dependence.

“By integrating educational and workforce support with clinical mental health services, we are helping young people with mental illness who are 25 years and younger secure employment opportunities.

“Mental illness should not be a barrier to a fulfilling career and this important program will continue to ensure young people have access to the tailored support they need to thrive in any workplace.”

Shepparton headspace general manager, Allison Sanderson, said the Individual Placement and Support Program offered a range of mechanisms.

“These include job coaching, employment opportunities, resumes, assistance, course enrolments, advocacy with community support services, and on-the-job support for as long as needed,” Ms Sanderson said.

Minister for Families and Social Services, Anne Ruston, said the onset of mental illness in young people could significantly affect their ability to transition from study into work.

“This investment will provide ongoing local career assistance hand-in-hand with clinical support to help young people with mental illness enter the workforce and reach their full potential,” Ms Ruston said.

The Shepparton headspace is one of 24 existing locations where the Individual Placement and Support Program has been extended, while a further 26 new sites nationally will now deliver the program.

Nationally, the ongoing and expanded Individual Placement and Support Program will allow more than 6000 Australians under the age of 25 experiencing mental illness to access a range of specialist vocational and employment support services.

ENDS

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