16th Reintegration Puzzle Conference

Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre
1-3 March 2023

Changing Seasons,
Changing Lives

Mental Health, Employment, and Reintegration: the Potential of the Individualised Placement and Support Model in the Criminal Justice System

The Individual Placement and Support (IPS) model of employment has been shown to improve the employment outcomes of individuals experiencing mental health conditions. The IPS model integrates employment assistance with traditional mental health supports to focus on the individual needs of people with mental health conditions, assisting participants to rapidly seek and obtain competitive employment and providing them with ongoing support during employment.

The IPS model is underpinned by eight core practice principles: competitive employment, zero exclusion, integration, attention to participant preferences, personalised benefits counselling, rapid job search, systematic job development, and time-unlimited support.

While some IPS programs exist in Western Australia, there are no IPS programs in WA’s criminal justice system. The WA Justice Association (WAJA), Western Australian Association for Mental Health (WAAMH), and Herbert Smith Freehills have produced two research and consultation reports focussing on the benefits and feasibility of introducing the IPS model into WA’s criminal justice system. These reports involved desktop research, as well as consultations with a range of employment providers, reintegration service providers, and other stakeholders over 2021 and 2022.

In this session, representatives from WAJA and WAAMH will present the research and findings of these two reports. The findings demonstrate, among other things, the potential of IPS to improve employment outcomes for people experiencing mental health conditions who are reintegrating into society after leaving prison. The presentation will also highlight key points from the consultation process.


Jessica Huynh
Projects Director
, WA Justice Association (WAJA)

Jessica is the Projects Director of the WA Justice Association. She is currently studying the Juris Doctor at the University of Western Australia and was previously involved in the employment services industry.

 Jessica was a Project Team Leader engaged in WAJA’s collaborative projects with the WA Association for Mental Health and Herbert Smith Freehills which focussed on an Individual Placement and Support (IPS) model of employment assistance for the WA criminal justice system.”


Taryn Harvey
Chief Executive Officer
, WA Association for Mental Health

Taryn joined WAAMH as CEO in January 2018, having previously held the position of CEO of Developmental Disability WA following a career in the Australian public service and WA Government. She has a strong track record in strategic planning, organisation and sector development, and advocacy. Taryn is committed to values driven leadership, authentic and trusted relationships and partnerships. She sits on multiple state planning and development committees across WA.

Cassie MacDonald
Sector Development Manager
, WA Association for Mental Health

Cassie has more than a decade of experience working in the employment field. Cassie overseas and is responsible for the strategic direction of various sector development projects at WAAMH, including IPS WORKS, the NDIS Quality and Safeguarding Sector Readiness Project for Psychosocial Providers and the Collaborative and Responsive Engagement (CARE) Hub. Cassie believes employment as a basic right that all members of the community should have access to.