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Australas Psychiatry. 2012 Aug;20(4):295-300. doi: 10.1177/1039856212447964. Epub 2012 Jul 8.

The impact of Vocational, Education, Training and Employment Coordinator positions on attitudes and practices in a NSW mental health service.

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Mental Health Program, South Eastern Sydney Local Health District, Sydney, NSW, Australia.



To determine attitudes and practices of community mental health clinicians in relation to employment and education for consumers and to assess the impact of the establishment of Vocational, Education, Training and Employment (VETE) Coordinator positions.


A snapshot was conducted by surveying community mental health clinicians regarding every consumer on their caseload in 2007. This was repeated in 2010 and the results were compared.


From 2007 to 2010, the overall rates of VETE interventions increased, including a doubling of the rate of linkage to employment agencies for job seekers. Services with the consistent presence of a VETE Coordinator showed a greater impact on a number of factors, highlighted by a positive shift in clinician attitudes regarding their consumers' capacity to work.


The establishment of VETE Coordination positions in the mental health service appears to be an effective way of raising awareness of VETE issues and improving VETE service provision. An important role has been assisting clinicians to begin implementing the principles of the Individual Placement and Support model of Supported Employment and to incorporate support for employment and education as a routine part of practice.

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