Meet the Newcastle youth worker determined to address mental health and abuse issues in her community

Newcastle youth worker, Elaine Abraham is determined to use her new Diploma to help those suffering from poor mental health and substance abuse issues in her community.

Elaine studied for her Diploma of Mental Health at TAFE Digital while working at Oasis Youth Services in Hamilton.

“There’s a lot of addiction issues happening back home and they seem to be starting at a younger and younger age,” Elaine said.

“I want to use what I’ve learned at TAFE NSW to go back home and implement programs.”

The demand for community services workers has been on the rise post-COVID, with community services now being Australia’s second-largest industry by employment, employing over 1.5 million workers.

In particular, roles such as youth workers, childcare workers, and case managers are in high demand.

“Community services means supporting people to make positive changes in their lives, supporting the wellbeing of individuals, families or communities, and being an agent of social change within a growing industry,” TAFE Digital community services and mental health teacher Abraham, said

TAFE Digital offers a range of fee-free community service courses conducted through virtual classrooms that provide flexibility for students like Elaine to study at their convenience.

“I wouldn’t have gotten this far without the scholarship or the amazing support from my TAFE NSW teachers,” Elaine said.

“The course has really given me the hands-on skills to do my job, especially around how to best talk to people with mental health issues.

“And while it’s sad dealing with young kids with addiction issues, it is such a rewarding job when you can help them.”

You can find out more about TAFE Digital and the Diploma of Mental Health by visiting