Lived Experience To Grow Our Mental Health Workforce

12 August 2022

The Andrews Labor Government is bringing lived experience to the heart of the mental health sector, launching a new workforce initiative as vital work continues to transform Victoria’s Mental Health and Wellbeing system.

The new $11.45 million Lived and Living Experience Workforce Development Program will grow and retain the lived and living experience workforce – offering training and supervision, practice and organisational support, ongoing education and career pathways.

In response to the Royal Commission’s recommendation, the Labor Government is ensuring lived and living experience sits at the heart of our mental health system reform.

This is a 10-year mental health reform journey and the Lived and Living Experience Workforce Development Programsupports this early crucial workto ensure our lived experience workforce is one that meets the needs of Victorians living with mental illness and alcohol and other drug issues.

Nine agencies will lead this mental health workforce program: Self Help Addiction Resource Centre, Harm Reduction Victoria, Tandem/the Carer Lived Experience Workforce network, Victorian Mental Illness Awareness Council, Centre for Mental Health Learning, The Bouverie Centre, Centre for Mental Health Nursing, Mind Australia and Mental Health Victoria.

This workforce program is building on the Leadership Pathways and Development Package for Specialist Mental Health Services,which this year has been expanded to deliver $8 million into a thriving leadership network for mental health workers.

Expanding peer networks and professional development ensures lived experience workers and leaders co-design all levels of the rebuilt mental health system.

The Government has invested more than $50 million since 2020 to build the required supports, structures and career pathways for the lived and living experience workforces – ensuring a solid foundation as we build the mental health system from the ground up.

Since the Government added the Certificate IV in Mental Health to its signature Free TAFE program, the course has seen a surge in commencements, as Victorians are drawn to the growing career pathways the state’s mental health reform is delivering.

In the 17 months since the Royal Commission’s final report was delivered, new services have opened and more Victorians than ever are getting the help they need, with work underway on more than 90 per cent of the recommendations.

This year’s budget included $1.3 billion to rebuild the mental health system and ensure more Victorians than ever are getting the help they need. This is on top of the $3.8 billion allocated in the Victorian Budget 2020/21.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Mental Health Gabrielle Williams

“A highly skilled mental health workforce with their own experience in the system means better treatment, care and support for all Victorians and as we rebuild our mental health system, we’re expanding this workforce.”

Listening to the feedback of people with lived experience and then acting on those recommendations is critical in achieving better experiences and outcomes for Victorians with mental illness.”

Reviewed 18 August 2022

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