Authors: Clare Evans, Matthew Schipp
Event: 2018 TheMHS Conference
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: In March 2017 Flourish Australia initiated their innovative Supported Placement program to provide people with a lived experience of a mental health issue the opportunity to work in an open workforce environment at an award level wage complimented with mental health support tailored to individual needs. The Supported Placement program is conceptually inspired by the Individual Placement and Support (IPS) model with a notable difference, that being the eventual goal of full participation in the open workforce (without workplace-specific supports provided by Flourish Australia) making for a transitional employment experience that supports mental health recovery. To date, external supported placements have been secured through tender with National Disability Services (NDS) providing participants with roles in administration, reception, support services and customer service with organizations such as the Department of Industry, the Department of Education and the CSIRO. Supported placement roles are completely integrated within the host organization to provide the most authentic workplace experience. Flourish Australia also reserves a number of internal positions for supported placements. Individually tailored support is provided through Flourish Australia’s Peer Support Workers and may involve mentoring, site visits and phone/email contact. At the time of writing, twelve people have been engaged in the supported placement program and outcomes have been largely positive. Matthew Schipp is a current supported placement with the CSIRO who has been with the program since May 2017: “I have found the supported placement program to be the perfect way to enter the workforce. Working has certainly helped my recovery and given me the chance to use the skills I built doing my Diploma of Business Administration. Patricia (Peer Worker) is also really helpful and very inspiring.” Matthew Schipp – Supported Placement, CSIRO
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