Finding jobs and joy

TOURNAMENT: The ZEST for Life tournament promoting mental health and well being attracted 110 players.
TOURNAMENT: The ZEST for Life tournament promoting mental health and well being attracted 110 players.

Local disability employment service  CPL’s Mylestones Employment got its people active for mental health with a Zest for Life tournament staged at the Logan Metro Indoor Sports Centre on November 1.

SMILES: Winning smiles and medals.

SMILES: Winning smiles and medals.

The aim of the tournament was to encourage activity for mental health in a safe and friendly environment. It attracted 110 players who vied for a range of prizes, all while making new friends, keeping active, and enjoying themselves.

The tournament was in response to statistics that state that job seekers are  34 per cent more likely to have a mental illness, including depression or anxiety, compared to 20per cent  of their employed counterparts. The statistics said that thosewho participated in sports were less likely to experience mental illness, and physical activity has long been linked to mental wellbeing. 

Regional manager for Mylestones Employment Michael Heit said sport was important for both on and off the job and that keeping job seekers connected to their communities supported positive employment outcomes.

“Mylestones Employment supports jobseekers with a disability to find meaningful work in the community. Sometimes that support involves giving someone interview or resume skills, or building up their confidence. Exercise plays such a huge role in maintaining good mental health and we are so proud to be supporting this event,” he said.

Blair Kennedy, a participant in this year’s tournament was unemployed for six years before he approached CPL’s Mylestones Employment for support to find a job.

“Before I reached out to Mylestones Employment, I hadn’t worked for almost six years and I felt like it was time to look for employment opportunities to give some meaning and purpose to my life so I could be a better role model for my young son,” he said.

Two years later, Blair said he was feeling much more confident and encouraged other job seekers to try sport as a way to keep well.

Blair is an advocate for getting active with soccer and Mylestones Employment, explaining that both had supported his confidence and self-esteem.

“Mylestones Employment got to know who I am and tailored their support to me. They saw me as an individual, rather than a resume to push into a job.”

“I have now been working in aged care, and I feel accepted as a member of the team. Connecting with a sporting group in the community, especially one that promotes positive mental health, has supported my confidence and self- esteem and given me friends that I can call on when I need.”

“Working with Mylestones Employment has allowed me to overcome negative feelings and find success on my own. It’s very important for me to get out and about in the community and connect with those around me,” Blair said.

The tournament is now in its seventh year.

Saputra Mulyadi, a representative from QMH, explained that the tournament is in its seventh year and growing.

“The soccer tournament gets participants active through exercise and connects them with the community around them. People from multiple support services and the Department of Human Services join in. It’s a fun day that really supports people to connect with each other,” Saputra Mulyadi said.

Mylestones Employment is a disability employment service dedicated to building better communities by connecting local businesses with hardworking jobseekers’ eager to find meaningful work. More on 1300 ME JOBS (1300 635 627) or myemployment.org.au.