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RACV has today released a video outlining how our partner Orygen is helping young people with mental ill-health achieve their education and employment goals.

The video includes the story of a young person who was successfully placed in work with Lendlease on a major project with Barwon Health following participation in Orygen’s Individual Placement and Support (IPS) program, which RACV has funded in South-West Victoria.

RACV’s three-year partnership with Orygen has expanded the service to help a greater number of young people with mental ill-health into work and study.

Executive Director of Orygen, Professor Patrick McGorry, said the RACV partnership has enabled Orygen to get to the cutting edge of innovation in social recovery in youth mental health.

“Our IPS program has converted the participants’ recovery rates from 20 to 30 per cent to 80 to 90 per cent, and if these programs are available everywhere in youth mental health services that’s the sort of transformation that we will be able to see,” Professor McGorry said.

“The cost of mental illness to Australia is huge – it’s enormous – so these programs that help young people retain or resume their educational or vocational pathways are absolutely crucial to turning that around.”

Research by Orygen has found people participating in its IPS program are up to three times more likely to achieve employment outcomes than those participating in other employment support programs.

Construction Manager Building Vic, Lendlease, Eddie Atkinson, said the IPS program supported by RACV enabled them to employ a young person who made a significant contribution to their Barwon Health construction project.

“We had a candidate join us through the Orygen program and we couldn’t have delivered the project without her – I truly believe that,” Mr Atkinson said.

“She was brilliantly smart and she’s actually the most qualified person in our site office, but the hardest thing for her was not having the support structure around her to help her succeed and now to see her absolutely flourish on the team has been a career highlight for me.”

“If you think about someone in your own family who is intelligent, who is bright, but just needs someone to back them then that’s what we can do for people out there in the community.”

RACV General Manager Social Impact and Corporate Communications Louise Steinfort said RACV recognises the need for more mental health services in regional Victoria.

“We look forward to seeing more advances in this program and in the improvement of the infrastructure for youth mental health in Australia,” Ms Steinfort said.

Orygen has been working to improve education and employment outcomes for young people since 2005. It is the world’s largest research, policy and clinical organisation specialising in youth mental health. It believes that all young people deserve to grow into adulthood with optimal mental health.

Adolescence and early adulthood are important periods of physical, social, educational and vocational development and the failure to recognise and treat mental disorders can have lasting negative effects in all these areas.

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