New service to help beneficiaries get work
A service will be trialed next year to help beneficiaries with diagnosed mental health conditions become independent and find work.
The two-year trial is expected to cost $3.2 million and will be available in Auckland, Waikato, Central, Canterbury and Southern regions.
Social Development Minister Anne Tolley says Work to Wellness will be a contracted service and will help around 1000 people a year.
"Just over half of all clients receiving a main benefit have a health condition, injury or disability, so it's important that we work effectively with them to find the right support so they can move into long term independence," Ms Tolley said.
She says it will provide coaching and mentoring, job search services and assistance to help people into work.
"Providers will work with clients to identify their needs and any barriers they face to return to work. This may include referring them to services such as counselling, additional GP visits or skills training," she said.
Beneficiaries will be able to opt-in through Work and Income, a referral from their GP or self-referring direct to the provider.
"We've seen success with targeted assistance like this already - for example, sole parents without work obligations dropped by more than 12 percent in the year to March 2016," she said.
NZN / Newshub.