Individual Placement and Support Program (IPS)

The Individual Placement and Support (IPS) program is available through selected headspace centres and provides in person, one-on-one support for your work and study goals. Our IPS Vocational Specialists will collaborate with your mental health worker to ensure the support you receive helps you achieve your goals.

We can help you with:

  • Looking for and applying for jobs
  • Writing a resume and cover letter
  • Preparing for a job interview
  • Exploring your study options
  • Enrolling in study
  • Navigating community support services such as the Centrelink system
  • Understanding your workplace rights
  • Transitioning into a new job or course
  • Balancing your mental health and wellbeing with work or study

 

The support we provide doesn't end when you achieve your goals, we continue to support you for as long as you need.

Talk to your mental health worker about the IPS program today to see if it's the right program for you. See below for a list of participating centres.

Who is it for?

Young people aged between 15 and 25 who are currently receiving or seeking support for their mental health through a participating headspace centre. You need to have employment, education or training goals, or need help figuring out your goals.

How do I get into the IPS program?

The IPS program is currently being delivered at over 50 selected headspace locations nationally. You need to be referred by either an intake worker or clinician in order to join the program. Please speak to one of our participating headspace centres.

List of participating headspace centres

If your local headspace centre isn’t participating, you can still access vocational support online through headspace Work and Study.

 

How is IPS different to other employment services?

There are five key reasons:

1. It’s personalised

We work with small caseloads and it’s one-on-one in person support. This allows us to tailor our approach to your needs; how often and how long your sessions are, and what we focus on is up to you.

 

2. It's clinically integrated

We work with other headspace team members and services to ensure we are giving you the best support and focusing on your overall mental wellbeing.

 

3. It's voluntary

You are under no obligation to participate (of course, we hope you do - so you get the most out of this program) and you can stop at any time if the program isn’t right for you.  

 

4. It’s strength based

We know that young people are resourceful and have existing knowledge and skills they can draw on, so we help you work out the best way you can use the strengths you already have.

 

5. All welcome 

We’re here for you. If you want support, we will do everything we can to help you reach your goals. You can access support for as long as you need.

“I’ll always be grateful for how the team at headspace let me make my own decisions and considered my feelings when helping me make decisions. It made me feel really supported and that my values held weight.”
- Rosemary, participating young person

 

 

How old do I have to be to access the program?  

The program is open to young people aged between 15-25, however, confirm your age eligibility with your local participating centre.

How much does it cost?  

The service is totally free, and you don’t need to be on a Centrelink payment to access it.  

Who will I speak to?  

Once you’ve been referred to the program, you will be assigned to one of our IPS Vocational Specialists. Our specialists have lots of experience in helping young people reach their work or study goals. You’ll have the same Specialist each session and get to know each other. 

How are sessions held?  

Sessions are held face to face, either at your local centre or in the community (at a café, library or shopping centre, for example).  

How many sessions can I have with my IPS Specialist?  

There is no time limit to this program, you can have as many sessions as you need. Your IPS Vocational Specialist will assist you throughout the process; from figuring out what you want to do, job hunting or applying for training courses. You can even have sessions once you’re working or studying to make sure you are supported as you transition into this new role. 

How long do sessions normally go for?  

Normally the sessions go for half an hour to one hour. 

What sort of things do people normally talk about in their IPS sessions?  

As our service is tailored to your needs, it depends on your goals and personal circumstances. We can help with all sorts of things like job searching and interview practice, dropping off resumes or meeting employers in the community, or finding study options or training courses. In one session you might work on your resume and practice some interview questions or finalise your course selection and submit an enrolment application. It also doesn’t matter if you don’t know what to talk about, we’ll help get you started! 

Can I use this service if I’m already working with an employment support service?  

Yes, absolutely*  

*If you are on Transition to Work, unfortunately you cannot also be in the IPS program.

What if my mental health is making it more difficult to work and/or study?  

The great thing about this program is that it is integrated with your mental health clinician in the headspace centre. They will work together to support you in managing your mental health alongside your work or study.  

How do I make an appointment? 

If you attend a participating centre, you can speak to the intake worker or clinician to get a referral and make your first appointment.  

What happens if I need to reschedule a session? 

Just let us know as soon as possible and we will reschedule with you. Don’t worry if you miss an appointment, you will not be cut off from the program.  

What equipment do I need for my appointment?  

Just bring yourself! If you have a resume, bring it along, or you can email it after your first appointment. 

What information should I prepare and share in my sessions? 

You can share whatever information you think is important to help you reach your work and study goals. If any mental health barriers arise in your sessions, you can address them with your mental health clinician at your next session with them.  

Are these sessions confidential? 

Yes, headspace is committed to protecting your privacy. When you talk to someone at headspace nothing said or written can be passed on to anyone outside the headspace team without your permission. 

There are a few exceptions, such as if we are concerned about your safety or the safety of someone else. In these instances, the headspace worker will try to talk to you first about what needs to happen and what additional supports you may need to help you be safe. 

What if I don’t attend one of these centres but still want help with my work and study goals? 
You can access online support through headspace Work and Study, it’s free, voluntary and delivered entirely online. Learn more on our Work and Study help page