The new positions start in 2022 and will help establish a pathway for allied health graduates to pursue a career in mental health.
The government is investing $26.5 million in creating 132 allied health mental health graduate positions.
The new positions are available for occupational therapy and social work graduates, and psychology registrars across specialist mental health services in metropolitan and regional services.
The graduates will be supported by 18 new allied health educator roles. The announcement coincides with the release of Victoria’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Workforce Strategy 2021-2024.
The Workforce Strategy is an important step towards building the workforce we need to provide treatment, care and support for Victorians with mental illness or psychological distress.
Funding provided as part of the Workforce Strategy has created 41 of the allied health positions and eight educator roles. This will help rapidly stabilise and grow the workforce.
The new allied health positions are part of a series of workforce reforms recommended by the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System.
The Royal Commission called for a mental health and wellbeing system that offers comprehensive and varied services delivered by a multidisciplinary workforce.
The new positions will help overcome current shortages of these professionals in the system.
Graduate positions have been allocated to the following specialist mental health services: Alfred Health, Austin Health, Barwon Health, Bendigo Health, Eastern Health, Forensicare, Goulburn Valley Health, Latrobe Regional Hospital, Melbourne Health (NWMHS), Mercy Health, Mildura Base Hospital, Monash Health, Peninsula Health, St Vincent's Hospital Melbourne and South West Healthcare.
Supported by a new allied health graduate program framework, services will provide a structured learning program to graduates and registrars that includes:
- Comprehensive orientation
- Discipline specific support and supervision
- Career pathways and access to professional development
- Wellness and resilience support
- Rotations through discipline specific roles in different mental health settings.
Recruitment is underway for the new positions to start in early 2022.