Mental Health Emergencies Training Program

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By April 17, 2015 No Comments

Authors: Association of Australian Rural Nurses and Midwives

Year: 2008

Event: 2008 TheMHS Awards


Type of resource: TheMHS Awards

Award state: ACT

Award level: Finalist

Award category: Regional/Rural/Remote Programs

Abstract: The overall aim of this education program is to provide general nurses and other health professionals with the attitudes, knowledge, confidence and skills to effectively respond to individuals who are experiencing mental health problems. Education/training alone does not necessarily translate into a change in culture, attitude, responsibility or clinical practice, however, the evaluation of this program has indicated that quality training can and does influence attitude and behaviour. The results can best be summed up by an excerpt from a participant’s comments:
“Workshop has made it easier for me to understand and has changed my attitude. I used to be like ‘I don’t want to know’. I used to resent that they (mental health clients) were on the ward or turning up to A&E”.
‘‘I am a much better nurse for doing this education and I have been a nurse for 22years”.
The evidence overall suggests a successful program which has had a positive impact on participants clinical practice and undoubtedly the outcomes of those who come into their care.

Description of Facility/Organisation:
This program is a national project targeting rural and remote areas of Australia. This training/education program has been conducted across rural and remote Australia with approximately 800 health professionals having completed the training. Throughout the life of the program a single mental health nurse (Project Officer) facilitated almost all of the workshops throughout rural and remote regions of Australia with administrative support provided by the secretariat. Initial funding was provided by Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA) Rural Health Support, Education and Training Program (RHSET) in 2003 followed by DoHA Health Workforce Distribution Programs in 2005, and in 2006 the DOHA Office of Rural Health. During the latter 2 years Australian Rural Nurses and Midwives (ARNM) supported the salary component of the program and worked towards sustainability. As the demand for the program has increased, fee for service workshops have been promoted with an additional 7 workshops being conducted over the past 12 months as well as several scheduled for 2008. No additional funding has been granted and as at May 2008 ARNM will continue to offer the training on a fee for service basis as part of core business.

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