"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Is a job a prescription for an adolescent with mental health problems?

“A job is a prescription for a young person with mental health problems.” – Social Services Minister Scott Morrison speech In ACOSS National Conference, Friday June 26, 2015.

Social Services Minister Scott Morrison Glitch A number of feathers when he said last week that a job was a prescription for a young man with mental health issues. opinion It reflects a simplistic view of mental health treatment.

But because it happens, there’s loads of research to back up what the minister says.


The full quote in context was:

$19.4 million can be provided for youth with mental health conditions. I especially need to thank Patrick McGurry of Headspace and Origin for his very strong investment in the event of those initiatives when he brought them to me earlier this yr. In this case we’re helping young people enter the workforce and treat their conditions, through individualized placement and support programs. A job is a prescription for a teenager with mental health issues – that's what Pat gave me and we're more than happy to have the option to reply in this fashion and to see this system work and are heavily invested in understanding the broader implications. and applications.

It is obvious that the “job is a prescription” line was not intended literally. Employment was not claimed to be an alternative to good mental health care. Rather, Mr. Morrison's comment is a reference and advice. Individual placement and support (IPS) approach.

The IPS program helps to beat the barriers that many individuals with mental health face in gaining paid employment. The program matches employers with suitable jobs for workers with mental illness, and supports each employers and employees over time.

IPS is a comparatively latest response to this system problem. High unemployment between Young people with mental health conditions in Australia. Government support for such a program is sweet news for Australia as independent scientists have done the identical. recommendation greater than ten years.

IPS point of view is continuous proven Being two to thrice more effective Compared to other methods for adults with severe and protracted mental illnesses (comparable to schizophrenia and bipolar affective disorder) who’ve employment goals.

the study Is Shown It also works well for young individuals with mental health conditions, comparable to generalized anxiety disorder, major depression, and first-episode psychosis, provided they’ve employment goals.

Those without employment goals are generally not invited to participate. give the study Conducted in Australia confirms that IPS may be successfully implemented inside existing systems. Although are necessary Challenges.

When successfully implemented, the outcomes of the IPS are significant. better From national average results for Disability Employment Services.

Under the IPS approach, high-quality employment support also requires the supply of higher types of mental health treatment and care. Employment services also must be higher tailored to individuals than existing services.

There can be employment assistance. More intense When mandatory, to make sure that everybody's own employment preferences are respected and achieved.

Mental health look after people employed under the IPS program can be intended to last more than usual in Australia, to the purpose where each the person's mental health and their employment are manageable.

Rapid re-entry routes, even after program success the need It can be established to make sure that “graduates” of IPS programs can maintain employability and good mental health.

IPS in Australia

Australia, like most developed countries, has been slow to answer this evidence. There are IPS services. Not yet widely availableAlthough the IPS approach is now greater than 20 years old.

The current DES funding framework does no Yet completely support Youth with early psychosis and other emerging mental health conditions need IPS services.

It continues to be unclear to what extent Australia's current mental health services are adequate. accept That rehabilitation of employment and education is an element of rehabilitation-based treatment. Although many mental health services are moving on this direction, most give attention to health outcomes.

In other countries, comparable to the United States, vocational rehabilitation is taken into account the core business of mental health services since it contributes to the general recovery of the people it goals to assist. So the best way the term “recovery” is defined by mental health services determines the range of services that may be provided.

Implementation matters

In principle, Mr Morrison is on the appropriate track and government support for such programs could possibly be an interesting step, however it all is determined by how well the brand new agreements are defined, and for young people. To what extent have any latest IPS programs actually been implemented? .

For adults with severe mental illnesses, for instance, an employment specialist's caseload ought to be limited to twenty energetic cases at any given time. For young individuals with less severe mental health conditions, a rather more energetic caseload could also be warranted, but perhaps not more than 30 (depending on what number of service users really need one-to-one support ).

Another risk pertains to the standard of existing mental health services, which must be of sufficient quality, frequency and duration for the health service to work in partnership with the employment service.

Success is probably going if the principles of IPS are incorporated into the agreements that govern the delivery of latest programs.


Mr. Morrison's comments are supported by research that shows that a well-designed employment program, comparable to IPS, can significantly contribute to higher employment outcomes, and that it often leads to higher employment outcomes for individuals with employment goals. Improves mental health outcomes (with good mental health care) for

Effective employment support may be a very important option for young individuals with employment goals, so long as the fundamental conditions for the supply of this support are met. That is, that employment support is integrated with good quality ongoing mental health care, is sufficiently intensive and individualized, and is implemented in accordance with other IPS principles and practices which have proven very effective over the past 20 years. .


This review is spot on. The claim that employment is positive for individuals with mental illness is well supported by evidence and is in keeping with international best practice. It is greater than just a press release of motherhood.

There have been scientifically robust Australian randomized controlled trials. Indicates a benefit. An individualized placement and support approach to employment for the mentally unwell. These findings are consistent with many international studies that report that being employed results in greater autonomy, status and acceptance in society, opportunities for private growth, and a way of well-being.

Moreover, these reports indicate That employment is able to recovering from mental illness. An effective modern mental health program needs to incorporate approaches to employment and vocational training along with medication and psychological support. — Philip Mitchell

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