The Employment Personal Helpers and Mentors Services (EPHaMs) program takes a strength-based recovery approach to assist people whose lives have been severely affected by psychosocial disabilities. 

The program focuses on assisting people to address non-vocational barriers to finding and maintaining employment, training and/or education. 

You are supported to develop an individual recovery plan that includes achieving employment-related goals as a major component. We will help you address any barriers to achieving these goals through a range of supports. EPHaMs draws on the knowledge and experience of peer workers, staff with a lived experience of mental health issues and/or psychosocial disabilities.

The program is funded by the Commonwealth Department of Social Services.

EPHaMs will:

  • help you address issues in your life that have been identified as barriers to employment, such as securing stable housing, building daily routines or addressing relationship problems
  • assist you in navigating Government employment services and Centerlink systems, including referring you to appropriate employment services and accompanying and advocating for you at appointments
  • work closely with Government employment services to coordinate supports
  • offer Care Coordination with clinical and primary care providers to ensure recovery plans are tailored towards achieving employment goals
  • work with your family and support networks as needed to ensure they understand and support your transition to work
  • provide on-the-job support as necessary to help you maintain employment
  • offer you, your family, friends and carers peer support

Research consistently shows the many benefits of work for people living with psychosocial disabilities. Besides generating income, working can provide a time structure for the day, regular contact with people outside the immediate family, involvement in shared goals, structured activity and a sense of identity. Despite this, the workforce participation rate of people with psychosocial disabilities is very low. Evidence indicates that this is not an indicator of lack of capacity or desire to work, but rather a reflection of the significant barriers to securing and maintaining employment. This program assists people to overcome these barriers.

In addition to PHaMs criteria, to be eligible for EPHaMs you must be:

  • receiving the Disability Support Pension (DSP) or other Government income support payments and have a Centrelink Customer Reference Number (CRN)
  • engaged, or willing to engage with an employment service provider
  • willing to include goals relating to employment in your individual recovery plan

Referrals are made through Wellways.

We works in partnership with Peninsula Health Mental Health Services.

For more information, please contact Wellways on 1300 111 400.