WorkFocus JobAccess: Tackling mental health awareness and management in the workplace

Ms Heather Hill a Professional Advisor and Occupational Therapist at WorkFocus Australia, Job Access will be presenting at the Long Term Unemployment Conference in August at the Gold Coast.

JobAccess: Tackling mental health awareness and management in the workplace to create employment opportunities

“There are many reasons for people being unemployed for long periods of time, and people with disability are at a higher risk of facing barriers to employment. This includes people with mental health issues.  With one in five Australian experiencing a mental health condition of some kind in any one year, the issue is a big one for both workplaces and job seekers who may be living with a mental health issue.

Mental illness often starts in adolescents or early adulthood, which impacts education capacity as well as employment. Consequently mental illness can cause disability across a life span. A game changer is needed, and JobAccess provides such potential.

Delivered by the WorkFocus Group on behalf of the Australian Government, JobAccess works with employers and job seekers to reduce the impact of barriers faced in the workplace with advice, support and funding via the Employment Assistance Fund (EAF). highly desirable for both job seekers and employers.

The presentation will feature case studies throughout the presentation, illustrating the role JobAccess can play in removing workplace barriers and overcoming long term unemployment for people with mental health conditions.

About the presenter – Ms Heather Hill,  Professional Adviser, Occupational Therapist,  JobAccess

Originally hailing from South Africa, Heather Hill migrated to Australia in 2011, joining the JobAccess team in October that year and currently working as a Professional Adviser for the team. s past roles have included working in a spinal rehabilitation unit, an orthopaedic unit as well as in paediatrics, both in hospitals and in private practices. She also ran a successful private practice focusing on vocational rehabilitation and medico-legal work.  She has worked with a wide range of clients, from job seekers to victims of violent crime to children with pervasive developmental difficulties.

With a diverse career that has taken her from South Africa to the United Kingdom to Australia, Heather has a wealth of knowledge and experience when it comes to health and rehabilitation.
Heather holds a Bachelor of Science with Honours in Occupational Therapy from the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa and was a lecturer for the undergraduate Occupational Therapy program there. Highlights of that experience included teaching students to find innovative solutions for people with disability in impoverished and under-resourced areas, and taking students to impoverished and rural areas of Johannesburg for a hands-on experience.

Mental Health

Australian Long Term Unemployment Conference will be held on 18-19 August 2014, QT Hotel Surfers Paradise. The 2 day conference will feature keynote presentations, 4 streams and workshops on long term unemployment issues, with a focus on mental health.

This conference will address the causes and programs needed to provide opportunities for at risk groups: Disability, Mature Age, Youth, Indigenous and Regional Unemployed.  It will focus on “Building Capability” to create employment in the future with over 50 presentations on research, policy, programs and case studies.

For more information about the conference please visit the website www.longtermunemployment.org.au or call the conference secretariat on 61 7) 5502 2068. Reminder! Please note the Early Bird ends on the 7th July 2014. Register www.longtermunemployment.org.au

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