Victoria invites workers to share 'lived experience' for mental health programs

State's initiative aims to help 'shape and improve' mental health system

Victoria invites workers to share 'lived experience' for mental health programs

The Victorian government recently announced that it would survey a part of the state’s workforce as it aims to improve its mental health programs.

It has invited those with “lived and living experience” in mental health and wellbeing to participate in a survey that would gather information from employees across different areas and industries to find out about barriers and attitudes that they find “challenging” in the workplace.

“The voices of lived and living experience workers are key in transforming our system. Listening and being responsive to these workforces will help us build a better mental health and wellbeing system for all Victorians,” Minister for Mental Health James Merlino said in a media release.

The survey is reportedly part of the Victorian government’s response to the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System to ensure that “lived experience” is a “central pillar” of the mental health system’s future.

“Building a strong and supported workforce is key to effectively reforming the state’s mental health system, and the results from this survey will inform the government on how services can attract, support and retain these workforces, who we know play such an important role in ensuring the best quality care,” the media release said.

The government also highlighted its more than $600 million investment in the mental health workforce to create more than 2,500 new workers in the system. It includes professional development grants and scholarships for tertiary qualifications, among others.

“A robust and resilient mental health and wellbeing system is founded on the workforce having our full support, which ultimately translates to all Victorians receiving the treatment, care and support they need,” Merlino said.

As to the survey’s respondents, the state encourages employees in designated lived or living experience roles in mental health, alcohol and other drug (AOD) and harm reduction services to participate. The survey is available until 10 June 2022 and is confidential.

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