Hon Helen Morton MLC

Hon Helen Morton MLC

Former Minister for Mental Health; Disability Services; Child Protection

    Study to support Men’s Shed mentors

    11/06/2015 12:00 AM
    • ​$40,000 research grant awarded to Therapy Focus and Curtin University
    • Men's Shed mentors to support young people with intellectual disability
    • Grant honours child health researcher Dr Louisa Alessandri

    Mentors will work with young people with intellectual disability to improve their social and vocational prospects in a study to be funded by the State Government's inaugural $40,000 Dr Louisa Alessandri Research Grant.


    Disability Services Minister Helen Morton said the study by disability service provider Therapy Focus and Curtin University was a standout in a field of high-quality applicants for the grant.


    "They have come up with an innovative research project that is expected to deliver real benefits to young people with intellectual disability," Mrs Morton said.


    "Their project will connect members of the Western Australian Men's Shed Association with young people with intellectual disability and the men will mentor the young people to increase their work readiness."


    Therapy Focus spokesperson Ruth Lee said that as people with intellectual disability transitioned from youth to adulthood they often experienced multiple disadvantages in participating in social, work and education activities.


    "International research shows that formal mentors can have important influences on young people during this transition.  Within a community context, Men's Sheds are ideally situated to support youth with intellectual disability," Ms Lee said.


    "This is because the mentors, who are often retirees, have the time and life experience to offer support.  In addition, the sheds offer a multitude of activities that can assist young people to develop both vocational and life skills."


    The Minister said the research project aligned with the Government's Count Me In Vision that all people live in welcoming communities that facilitate citizenship, friendship, mutual support and a fair go for everyone.


    "If the intended outcomes are realised, the participants will have enhanced work and social participation prospects and the mentors will develop a better understanding of youth with intellectual disability," she said.


    Fact File

    • Dr Alessandri (1963-97) was a renowned child health researcher in WA and served as chairwoman of the Ministerial Advisory Council and a board member with the Disability Services Commission
    • Program will be offered at the Mosman Park and Kalamunda Men's Sheds
    • For more information, visit http://www.wamsa.org.au

    Minister's office - 6552 6900