The Aboriginal Mental Health Traineeship Program begins in 2019, creating 10 mental health positions in Aboriginal organisations across country and metropolitan Victoria.
The program enables Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders living in Victoria to be paid while they study and train for a Bachelor of Health Science (Mental Health) degree at Charles Sturt University.
The three-year program pays trainees to work under supervision in Victorian health services while completing their degree full-time.
The program will be offered through Eastern Health (two positions), Bendigo Health (two positions), Alfred Health, Peninsula Health, Monash Health, Latrobe Regional Health, Mildura Base Hospital and Forensicare.
The traineeship program will:
- increase the number of qualified Aboriginal mental health professionals in the workforce
- increase the knowledge of mental health services staff about Aboriginal social and emotional wellbeing
- improve the responsiveness of mental health services to the needs of Aboriginal consumers
- increase the number of Aboriginal people accessing the range of mental health services
- improve care pathways for all Victorians.
In November 2018 ANMF, the Health and Community Services Union and the Victorian Hospitals Industrial Association signed a deed that ensures program participants benefit from wages and conditions in the public sector mental health agreement.
The 2017–18 Victorian Budget provided $1.18 million funding for the program with a further commitment of $1.51 million in the 2018–19 budget, $1.51 million in the 2019–20 budget and $1.84 million in the 2020–21 budget.
Information about the traineeships is available from the health services offering the program. Contact details for each service are on the Department of Health & Human Services website.