Authors: Carly Warner, Chris Keyes, Thomas Franks
Event: 2015 TheMHS Conference
Subject: Participatory Aboriginal Wellbeing
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: Spearheaded by the Mental Health Coordinating Council (MHCC), the Aboriginal Careers in Mental Health (ACIMH) workforce development project brought together a range of stakeholders from government and community-managed mental health organisations, to employ and support 46 Aboriginal people to enter the sector as trainees in mental health support work. The project supported trainees to complete the Certificate IV in Mental Health, and in August 2014, 32 trainees graduated with this qualification. Organisations reported increased capacity to employ and support Aboriginal workers, and better support Aboriginal communities and people. This paper will present the unique set of approaches that enabled the project to be so successful. Drawing on the external evaluation, reflections will include outcomes and benefits from the perspectives of organisations, trainees, Aboriginal mentors and trainers.
Keys to success included:
• Genuine partnership
• Flexible recruitment of trainees
• A multifaceted approach to workforce retention
• Strong networks of support across trainees, organisations and community
• A purpose built and culturally safe training program
• Shared and proactive commitment to outcomes
Presenters will include a graduate trainee and a trainer sharing their experience and the impacts of participating in the project. As shared by one trainee, “It has helped my community, as there are now more trained Aboriginal workers in the sector for the Aboriginal people to reach out to. It has helped my family by giving me the skill to support them both mentally but also financially”.
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