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$5.15M to grow Australia's mental health workforce

$5.15M to grow Australia's mental health workforce
A new $5.15 million-dollar Australian Government scholarship program will support mental health nurses and allied health practitioners to enter or upskill in the mental health sector, boosting the mental health and suicide prevention workforce.

The Mental Health Nursing and Allied Health Scholarship Program will provide 278 scholarships and those interested in applying for a place can now register their interest with the Australian Collage of Nursing for Semester 2, 2022.

David Coleman Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, said investing in mental health training for health care professionals will promote mental health as a career option.

“The program will provide 126 postgraduate nursing scholarships for courses related to mental health and suicide prevention.
“It will also support up to 152 allied health practitioners including psychologists working in mental health and suicide prevention for related tertiary, vocational and continuing professional development courses and clinical placements,” said Assistant Minister Coleman.

Chief Executive Officer of ACN, Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward FACN, said this scholarship program has come at an ideal time as nurses work to support the community during a pandemic.

“This announcement is important for the nursing workforce nationally who are dealing with COVID-positive patients and their families as well as non-COVID health concerns of consumers.  Everyone is anxious and struggling right now, and much of our workforce is bearing the brunt of that anxiety.

“We also know that much of this is being felt particularly in rural and remote regions where the workforce is stretched right now.  Nurses want to care for their patients and to support their patients’ families and loved ones, and scholarships are essential for this education to be accessible.

“I’m really pleased that the Australian Government has recognised the need for postgraduate education and vocational training for nurses and for our colleagues in psychology and allied health, who are also working hard alongside nurses in rural and remote areas to support their patients’ mental health care needs every day,” said Adjunct Professor Ward.

Jillian Reid, Chair of the Education & Accreditation of the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses (ACMNH) said the scholarship will be valuable for those wishing to access appropriate training in mental health and suicide prevention.

“The communities that have been lacking in mental health services and support will also appreciate that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, as well as the rural and regional communities have been given great consideration.

“Mental health professionals will welcome that the Government has recognised there are significant barriers that prevent people from accessing the mental health support they need. 

“This recognition, though, needs to be an ongoing one which fully addresses the day-to-day concerns around mental health.

“The Government should consider health promotion, early intervention and ongoing care for those with mental health issues.

“Mental health nurses approach each individual and community from a holistic perspective, and they will no doubt embrace any extra support the Government can offer.”

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Haley Williams

Haley Williams has a Bachelor of Communication in Journalism and over a decade of experience in the media, marketing and communications industries.

She is a widely published journalist with a particular interest in writing magazine features on parenting, health, fitness, nutrition and education.

Before becoming a freelance journalist, Haley worked as a writer for NeoLife (a worldwide nutrition company), News Limited and APN News & Media.

Haley also has extensive experience as an SEO Content Writer and Digital Marketing Strategist.