Employment and education services

Employment and education services

Orygen provides employment and education support services to young people with mental ill-health using the Australian federal government’s evidence-based Individual Placement and Support (IPS) model.

IPS integrates employment and vocational services with clinical mental health support to help young people maintain their mental wellbeing when they enter or re-enter the workforce or pursue educational opportunities.

The program is focused on the individual needs of young people who want to obtain or stay in employment or education. The aim of the IPS program is to improve the educational and employment outcomes for young people aged up to 25 years, with mental ill-health.

Types of support

Young people in IPS programs can access a variety of support including career planning advice, help to navigate the community and Centrelink services, plus support to start education or employment. For example, help to prepare a resume or cover letter, train for job interviews or receive introductions to employers or training providers matched to their career goals.

IPS workers also provide ongoing support to the young person when they’ve found a job or started study.


To be eligible to participate in the IPS program, you must:

  • Be a young person with mental illness aged up to 25. You don’t need a formal diagnosis of mental illness to access the program. Diagnosis can be made by clinical staff at the Headspace site.
  • Be an eligible client of Headspace at the participating site.
  • Have employment, education or training goals and be facing barriers to achieving these goals.
  • Be willing to participate in the service and able to make an informed decision to participate.

IPS vocational team

The IPS vocational team embedded at Orygen and Headspace includes an IPS supervisor and at least two vocational specialists. IPS vocational specialists are co-located with the clinical team at Orygen and Headspace. This allows them to collaborate through shared appointments, joint meetings and informal discussions.

Vocational specialists help young people find and retain suitable employment by offering intensive and individualised support. They also help young people access pathways to education that will ultimately lead to work.

IPS vocational specialists have an important and dynamic role which includes networking, collaborating with and building relationships with the young people who are their clients. They also administer all facets of vocational support including intake, engagement, assessment, job placement and follow-along support.


The IPS program is currently available at Orygen’s Parkville location and at the Headspace centres in Sunshine, Melton and Werribee.

If you’d like to connect with an Orygen IPS worker, contact Pratik Shah, Employment and Education Program Manager at Orygen on 0460 853 046 or ask your mental health clinician for a referral.