The Morrison Government have announced a commitment and extra funding to address the barriers preventing people with mental illness and disability from finding and keeping a job.

Minister for Families and Social Services Anne Ruston said the Government has committed an additional $45.7 million to extend two programs dedicated to helping young people with mental illness join the workforce.

The funding will be used to double the number of headspace sites around Australia and to better support the headspace National on their digital initiatives.

Work is also underway on developing a new National Disability Employment Strategy which will consider a diverse range of barriers to work for people with physical, neurological and intellectual disability as well as mental health issues.

“When I speak to employers they all say they understand the benefits of employing people with disability or mental illness but when it comes down to making decisions about who to employ the data shows these positive attitudes are not translating into outcomes,” Minister Ruston said.

“We must ensure we continue to work toward our goal for an inclusive Australian society that enables all Australians to gain and maintain employment.”

2016 Australian Paralympian of the year Dylan Alcott OAM and Chancellor of Monash University Simon McKeon AO have been appointed as the joint chairs of the new Disability Employment Advisory Committee (DEAC) to help develop the strategy.

The Disability Employment Advisory Committee (DEAC) will ensure the Government leverages from a broad range of expertise including people with a disability to improve employment outcomes. 

Women with disabilities around Australia will be well represented on the DEAC with both WWDA CEO Carolyn Frohmader and WWDA board member, Jody Barney now also joining.

Read the full media release on the Department of Social Services website.