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Presented by Tom Brideson and Christine Flynn NSW Aboriginal Mental Health and Wellbeing Workforce Forum, 2014 NSW Aboriginal Mental Health Worker Training.

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Presentation on theme: "Presented by Tom Brideson and Christine Flynn NSW Aboriginal Mental Health and Wellbeing Workforce Forum, 2014 NSW Aboriginal Mental Health Worker Training."— Presentation transcript:

1 Presented by Tom Brideson and Christine Flynn NSW Aboriginal Mental Health and Wellbeing Workforce Forum, 2014 NSW Aboriginal Mental Health Worker Training Program: Evaluation Findings and Future Directions

2 Overview of the Presentation NSW Aboriginal Mental Health Worker Training Program External Evaluation, ARTD Consultants 2013 Findings, Conclusions and Recommendations Future Directions Questions

3 NSW Aboriginal Mental Health Workforce Program Background: Funded under the NSW Aboriginal Mental Health and Wellbeing Policy : Involved all AHS’s (at the time) now most LHD’s 19 Trainee positions (funded as enhancements) Many services converted existing vacancies to Trainees Ref Group oversees the Program and clear lines of governance Model developed to train A supported and skilled workforce

4 The Learning Model

5 Program Description ‘At a Glance’ Identified positions Mental Health Teams Recruit and Develop their own Trainees “Growing Our Own Locally” Trainees are employees, permanent full time staff in NSW LHD’s The Learning Model: –Over 3 years all Trainees undergo On The Job Training (under supervision) –Undertake a University Degree – RG agreed course at CSU, Wagga Wagga –Mandatory Clinical Placements as part of the Degree –Course underpinned by National Practice Standards for the Mental Health Workforce, 2002

6 Trainees employed under AHEO Award – non Graduate (during Training) When completed Trainees transfer to Graduate AHEO or HP Award Ongoing Employment as per Allocation Summary’s 2010 Implementation Resource: Practical Guide agreed across the MH system including MH Directors - outlines Program governance/roles/responsibilities 2012 Qualification recognition (as members) by Indigenous Allied Health Australia (IAHA) Potential cost neutral model (once established)

7 Critical success factors High level of management/service support Team capacity/leadership to develop a Trainee is critical Coordination and support in workplace –Managers, Team Leaders and senior clinicians are key to success –Senior Aboriginal Mental Health Professional is vital Whole teams understanding and valuing of the Program is essential Sound working partnership/relationship with the education provider

8 Spread of Trainee Positions in NSW Bega Valley Goulburn Moruya Queanbeyan Deniliquin Griffith Albury Wagga Young Tumut Pambula Broken Hill Dareton Tamworth Taree Armidale Narrabri Blacktown Penrith Mt Druitt –Orange –Cowra –Bathurst –Parkes –Dubbo –Bourke –Lightning Ridge –Ryde –Wyong –Justice Health –Kempsey –Coffs Harbour –Lismore –Camperdown –Liverpool –Sutherland –Wollongong –Batemans Bay –Temora –St George

9 Our Program, Our Workforce (assumptions) Builds local community capacity (Aboriginal and MH Service) Increases a trained skilled MH workforce (all discussions, advocates) A supported empowered workforce will make a valuable contribution Aboriginal Mental Health as a valued Professional group Broaden the base for potential employment and career options Potential for Extending Mental Health Professional careers Professional contribution to Safe Education Programs and Aboriginal Associations No MH Profession has built an effective and/or safe strategy to increase numbers Benefits will be to Aboriginal individuals, families and communities Practice based evidence informed decisions, Evaluation NSW AMH Workforce Program (and other publications)

10 Program Publications (Google: NSW Aboriginal Mental Health Workforce Program) Watson, Carol and Harrison, Nea (2009) New South Wales Aboriginal Mental Health Worker Training Program: Implementation Review. Cooperative Research Centre for Aboriginal Health and NSW Health Watson, Carol and Harrison, Nea with Brideson, Thomas and Greenwood, Catherine (2010) Walk Together, Learn Together, Work Together: A Practical Guide for the Training of Aboriginal Mental Health Professionals in New South Wales. Cooperative Research Centre for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Jones, Carmel and Brideson, Tom (2009) 'Using policy and workforce development to address Aboriginal mental health and wellbeing', Australasian Psychiatry, 17:1, S72 — S74 Brideson, Tom and Jones, Carmel (2007) ‘NSW Aboriginal Mental Health Workforce Program’, Auseinetter, Issue 29, No 2 pp 20 – 22 NSW Aboriginal Mental Health Training Program Evaluation 2013

11 External Program Evaluation Report 2013 Commissioned by MHDAO ARTD Consultants – the successful Tender Applicant Commenced Completed August 2013 Ethics approval by AH&MRC Methods Participants from all layers

12 Report Findings and overall Conclusions –Overall the Program is highly valued by LHD mental health services across NSW, and is increasing staff knowledge and understanding of Aboriginal mental health and cultural issues. –It is also improving the capacity of LHDs to provide accessible and relevant services to local Aboriginal people. –The Program is providing a unique opportunity for Aboriginal people to gain valuable skills and a tertiary qualification to work as mental health professionals, support their communities, and be role models for others. –But the Program has faced many challenges over the last six years in achieving its planned outcomes, with mixed results in different areas.

13 Report Recommendations 1.Working party to review and strengthen the Program (broad membership) 2.Review Program direction, governance and accountability (including points [a – m] = 13 areas) 3.New Policy Directive

14 Report Recommendations 4. Strengthen Program implementation (including points [a – k = 11] & 9 sub points = 20 areas) 5. Communication between mental health services and the university 6. Program management (including points [a – c = 3] & 4 sub points = 7 areas)

15 Changing context AHS >>>> LHD – split or transfer of funds & trainee and Clinical Leader positions Activity Based Funding Ministry, Pillars and MHDAO – restructure, relationships and roles Mental Health Commission – policy and planning role; MHDAO resources and role

16 Implementation Working Group An IWG was established in November 2013 with Mental Health Program Council approval Comprises representatives from most LHDs, and key partners Many Aboriginal people and others with Program experience are on IWG Full and frank discussions are occurring IWG is discussing recommendations and addressing key issues

17 Some key issues Scope of program, including Trainees and Clinical Leaders Consistent program implementation (following the Practical Guide) Qualification that equips program graduates as beginning mental health professionals. Employment conditions and applicable Award Program governance

18 Program data and communication Outcomes of IWG & Response to Recommendations will be part of an ongoing communication strategy with LHDs to promote and reinvigorate the program. The Ministry needs to consider how LHDs/SHN are using Ministry funding as we want to see fair distribution of positions and no positions held vacant. Need to gather better information on employment outcomes and career pathways of graduates

19 Forward Plan It is timely now to develop a coherent forward plan which will prove the value of the program to Mental Health build commitment to the program at all levels identify what needs to be done to achieve improvements make best use of current resources build case for growth

20 Questions and discussion We invite your comments on the Evaluation findings Issues Forward Plan Any questions?

21 Contacts Tom Brideson, Statewide Coordinator, Aboriginal Mental Health Workforce Program, Bloomfield Campus, Forest Road, Orange 2800 Tel (02) Christine Flynn, Senior Policy Officer, Mental Health and Drug and Alcohol Office Tel (02)


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