Authors: Capital & Coast DHB
Event: 2008 TheMHS Awards
Type of resource: TheMHS Awards
Award state: NZ
Award level: Finalist
Award category: Infant, Child and Adolescent Services or Programs
Abstract: WorkFirst is a supported employment service co-located with some of Capital & Coast DHB’s (C&CDHB) community mental health teams. It focuses on young adults who have recently had their first experience of psychosis or other serious mental illness. The service is guided by the principles of evidence-based supported employment or the Individual Placement and Support (IPS) model. The evidence shows that better outcomes into work or study are achieved for people who experience serious mental illness when the supported employment service is co-located with mental health services and the employment consultants are members of the multi-disciplinary teams. The mental health and cost benefits of engaging in productive occupation, receiving financial reward for working, contributing to and participating in society are well recognized. WorkFirst is still the only service of its type in NZ fully adhering to the principles of IPS and achieving good practice on the international IPS Fidelity scale. Description of Facility/Organisation: WorkFirst is co-located within four of C&C DHB’s community mental health teams. These teams cover the greater Wellington region from South Wellington to the Kapiti Coast, and one of the teams covers the Hutt Valley DHB region. Workfirst is now into its sixth year of funding by the Ministry of Social Development. With C&CDHB now contributing towards the funding the present contract expiring 30 June 2008 reflects a true partnership between health and social development. We are currently five staff practicing as Employment Consultants. Two of the staff are Occupational Therapists including the Coordinator, the other three are non-clinicians with relevant experience and tertiary qualifications. One of the three is our Consumer Employment Consultant. Since 1 June 2002 to the present we have provided services to a total of 410 clients/jobseekers between the ages of 16 to 35 years. Our current active caseload is approximately 100.