Experts across Victoria’s mental health sector joined an online forum on Friday to discuss the development of a new Mental Health Workforce Strategy.

The Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System recommended a statewide Mental Health Workforce Strategy be delivered by the end of 2021.

The Strategy will provide a roadmap to developing a sustainable and diverse workforce to support Victoria’s mental health system.

The Department of Health hosted the online event which involved more than 120 representatives from lived experience, clinical, community workforces; peak bodies; and the mental health sector. 

Minister for Mental Health James Merlino welcomed attendees to the Mental Health Workforce Forum. He highlighted the crucial role the sector will play in shaping the Strategy.

Building on the workforce recommendations of the Royal Commission, participants contributed ideas and solutions to challenges including workforce wellbeing, supply, capability, and rural and regional issues from a diverse range of perspectives.

A Mental Health Workforce Technical Advisory Group will provide implementation advice as the Strategy is developed.   

The Group will be chaired by Lyn Morgain, CEO of Oxfam Australia.  Lyn is the former Chief Executive of Cohealth and has extensive experience in community health and the not-for-profit sector.

Guiding the Group will be 150 expert stakeholder representatives providing advice across four themes including workforce supply, capability, wellbeing, and rural and regional issues. 

The Department’s Lived Experience Workforce Advisory Group will also be consulted throughout the development of the Strategy. 

Consultation with mental health workforce representatives, academics and experts including people with lived experience, will continue in the lead up to the Strategy’s public release in December 2021.