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Table 1 Baseline demographics

From: ‘I’m proud of how far I’ve come. I’m just ready to work’: mental health recovery narratives within the context of Australia’s Disability Employment Services

IDES survey respondents Qualitative respondents Current DES population
   Psychosocial
n(%)
Combined other
n(%)
Total
n(%)
n(%)  
Gender Female 118 (66.7) 94 (49.0) 212 (57.5) 14 (46.7) 124,416 (46.8)
Male 58 (32.8) 96 (50.0) 154 (41.7) 15 (50.0) 141,559 (53.2)
Non-binary 1 (0.6) 2 (1.0) 3 (0.8) 1 (3.3) NR
Age 18–24 21 (11.9) 24 (12.5) 45 (12.2) 1 (3.3) 39,084 (14.7)
25–34 52 (29.4) 35 (18.2) 87 (23.6) 13 (43.3) 43,365 (16.3)
35–49 60 (33.9) 46 (23.9) 106 (28.7) 13 (43.3) 73,490 (27.8)
50 and over 44 (24.8) 84 (44.7) 126 (35.3) 3 (10.0) 109,736 (41.2)
Reporting other disabilities Physical 38 (21.5) 15 (7.8) 53 (14.4) 6 (20.0) NR
Sensory 11 (6.2) 29 (15.1) 40 (10.8) NR
Psychosocial 88 (45.8) 94 (25.5) NR
Highest level of schooling < Primary school 2 (1.1) 1 (0.5) 3 (0.8) NR
Some high school <Y10 18 (10.2) 21 (11.0) 39 (10.6) 4 (13.3) NR
Year 10 33 (18.6) 46 (24.0) 79 (21.4) 1 (3.3) NR
Year 11 27 (15.3) 37 (19.3) 64 (17.3) 4 (13.3) NR
Year 12 96 (54.2) 86 (44.8) 182 (49.3) 21 (70.0) NR
Post-school qualifications None 32 (18.1) 48 (25.0) 80 (21.7) 16 (53.3) NR
Apprenticeship/ trade certificate 27 (15.3) 35 (18.2) 62 (16.8) 2 (6.7) NR
Other certificate (I-IV) 55 (31.1) 62 (32.3) 117 (31.7) 6 (20.0) NR
Associate degree/diploma 27 (15.3) 24 (12.5) 51 (13.8) 1 (3.3) NR
University degree 35 (19.8) 21 (11.0) 56 (15.2) 5 (16.7) NR
Type of income support/ welfare benefit* Newstart 131 (74.4) 142 (74.7) 273 (75.6) 19 (63.3) 202,059 (76.0)
DSP 27 (15.34) 51 (26.6) 78 (21.2) 8 (26.7) 28,271 (10.6)
Engagement in DES Compulsory 135 (76.3) 145 (76.7) 280 (76.5) 17 (56.7) 206,155 (77.5)
Voluntary 42 (23.7) 47 (23.3) 89 (23.5) 13 (43.3) 59,820 (22.5)
Choice in provider Choice 64 (48.9) 74 (51.7) 138 (50.4) 11 (36.7) NR
No choice 67 (51.1) 69 (48.3) 136 (49.6) 19 (63.3) NR
Length of time with current DES provider 12 months of more 86 (53.4) 74 (43.5) 160 (48.8) 7 (23.3) NR
Employment history Ever in paid employment 160 (90.4) 173 (90.1) 333 (90.3) 26 (86.7) NR
Currently in paid employment 54 (33.7) 43 (24.9) 97 (29.1) 5 (16.7) NR
Housing Experienced insecure housing or no place to stay in last six months 25 (14.1) 18 (9.4) 43 (11.7) 8 (26.7) 20,126 (7.6)**
Total   177 (48.0) 192 (52.0) 369 (100) 30 (100) 265,975 (100)
  1. NR Not reported by Department of Social Security (DSS) DSS only report primary disability which is described in the text
  2. * Welfare support in Australia includes various pensions and income support payments for people who are unemployed. Income support payments generally have mutual obligation requirements attached, i.e. recipients are obliged to actively look for work (compulsory job seeker status). Disability Support Pension sometimes have compulsory requirements depending on age and assessed level of capacity. Newstart is the main form of income support for Australians of working age who are unemployed. Two qualitative participants were not receiving any income support, while one was on sickness benefits
  3. **DSS data reports homeless status as opposed to IDES which collected data on experiencing insecure housing or no place to stay in last six months