Supporting the mental health workforce


The state government is building a mental health system that will be accessible to every Victorian – with the introduction of tailored support for people with disabilities, and multicultural, multi faith and LGBTIQA+ communities.

Mental Health Minister Gabrielle Williams announced close to $12 million to upskill Victoria’s mental health workforce and support community-led services.

The Mental Health Workforce Capability Projects for Diverse Communities initiative will establish a two-year partnership with National Disability Services, cohealth, Rainbow Health Australia and other mental health and wellbeing providers to help the workforce deliver more welcoming and inclusive services.

Aiming to increase the skills, knowledge and confidence of mental health practitioners, the partnership will see these organisations either co-design new education programs and resources or utilise existing programs to ensure the broader workforce is equipped to care for diverse communities.

Existing programs include Rainbow Health’s Rainbow Tick – a world-first framework helping health organisations support the LGBTIQA+ community, with a tick awarded to signal they are a safe, inclusive and affirming service.

Continued investment to upskill and broaden the abilities of the mental health workforce also continues with the next round of the state government’s Diverse Communities Mental Health and Wellbeing Grants now open.

Part of a total $9.6 million investment over four years, the $4.4 million in grants will provide funding for community-run organisations to develop and deliver new projects that will improve mental health outcomes for diverse groups.

To be successful, grant applicants will need to showcase that their idea engages with one of four areas:

– The mental health system and services – building their capability in servicing diverse communities

– Communities and people, especially hard to reach groups – increasing their access to support

– Government’s reforms and transformation of the system – strengthening diversity, equity and inclusion

– Non-health settings – benefiting diverse communities in those places e.g., workplaces, custodial settings

Minister Williams said the workforce initiative and grants program will ensure service providers and community-led organisations can deliver compassionate and appropriate mental health services and programs for everyone in the community

“We know that people from diverse communities are at greater risk of mental health challenges and may face barriers accessing the right support – that’s why we are building an inclusive, responsive and culturally safe system for all,” she said.

Applications for the second round of the Diverse Communities Mental Health and Wellbeing Grants close Wednesday, November 1.