Youth Focus in Midland welcomes funding promise

Youth Focus chief executive Arthur Papakotsias.
Youth Focus chief executive Arthur Papakotsias.

MIDLAND-based Youth Focus will join a national trial to help young people with mental health issues into education and work.

Federal Families and Social Services Minister Paul Fletcher and Hasluck MHR Ken Wyatt announced funding of $585,000 for a new individual placement and support trial site at headspace Midland this week.

Youth Focus operates headspace Midland.

The model targets vulnerable young people aged up to 25 who live with mental illness, are at-risk of disengaging from education or employment, and long-term welfare dependency.

Under the initiative, people can access employment and education opportunities.

Chief executive Arthur Papakotsias said the trial would support young people into further training and employment.

“As the lead agency for headspace Midland, we are delighted to have been awarded this contract, which will translate as an important opportunity to integrate mental health and employment services,” he said.

“Research shows unemployment is a very high unmet need for young people in general and this is further compounded for young people with mental health challenges.

“When we talk to young people, the thing that often seems to be lacking in their life is a sense of purpose and meaning.

“The Individual Placement and Support program has demonstrated to be highly effective in increasing social and economic participation, as well as reducing social isolation and psychological distress.”