Effective and responsive community based mental health services help people recover and stay well. Work in this field is diverse, rewarding and truly makes a difference to people living with a mental illness and to the communities they live within. People living with mental illness who are provided with well planned, comprehensive support in the community have a better quality of life, develop an improved level of functioning and social contact and have fewer relapses.
Voluntary entry level training in NSW for community based mental health services is the CHC40512 Certificate IV in Mental Health.
Work in this area is supported by NSW Department of Health’s policy document: NSW – A New Direction for Mental Health.
Community based support is essential in the care and recovery of those with mental illness. Community based support is provided by non-government organisations. It needs a trained professional workforce with extensive knowledge and skills to accommodate the strong growth it is experiencing and to meet the needs of people living with mental illness, their families, carers and the community. A worker within a non-government mental health organisation must understand how to provide programs and services designed to both strengthen the individual’s skills and to develop the environmental supports necessary to sustain the individual in the community.
The NGO Mental Health sector requires a skilled and knowledgeable workforce. Work within the non government mental health workforce offers many benefits including:
Work opportunities within the community based mental health sector are increasing, reflecting growing government and community awareness of the level of need in this area.
Typically community based mental health organisations undertake work in the areas of:
Job roles in this area include:
Changes to OH&S
The Commonwealth and each state and territory government have agreed to harmonise their work health and safety laws, including Regulations and Codes of Practice, so that they are similar in each jurisdiction.
The Commonwealth, states and territories are responsible for making and enforcing their own work health and safety laws. Although there are many similarities between the laws there are also some differences that can cause confusion. Australian workers should be entitled to the same work health and safety standards, regardless of the jurisdiction in which they operate.
This regulatory inconsistency is being addressed through an intergovernmental agreement(IGA) where, for the first time, governments from each state and territory and the Commonwealth have formally committed to harmonise work health and safety laws by developing and adopting a model Work Health and Safety Act supported by model Regulations and model Codes of Practice. The intention is to deliver the same work health and safety protections to all Australians. For more information click here
CHC40512 Certificate IV in Mental Health
CHC42912 Certificate IV in Mental Health Peer Work
CHC50312 Diploma of Community Services (Mental Health)
CHC50412 Diploma of Community Services (Alcohol, other drugs and mental health)
Recognition of prior learning (RPL) is a significant pathway for candidates to attain a national training package qualification. There has been strong support from Commonwealth and NSW governments for RTOs to find innovative and accessible RPL strategies and approaches.
NSW Department of Education and Training is actively assisting this quest for improved RPL pathways and has worked in partnership across many industry sectors to pilot best practice models of recognition and develop supporting resources. Some of the innovation recognition pathways trialled included group, project and workplace based models.
Resources and further details are available State Training Services
The Vocational Training Board establishes traineeships in NSW. Through a consultative process between peak industry groups, employers and unions, facilitated by the ITAB, qualifications are identified that meet industry requirements and have appropriate award arrangements. This information is submitted to the Board for the declaration of a vocational training order in accordance with NSW legislation.
As qualifications have a vocational training order established, they are posted on the NSW DET Commissioner’s Bulletin. Further advice is available from NSW DET www.training.nsw.gov.au
Current Mental Health traineeship in NSW is:
CHC40512 Certificate IV in Mental Health
The Mental Health qualifications in the CHC08 Community Services Training Package have not been identified as suitable for VET in Schools pathways.
For more information about VET in Schools in NSW visit: https://www.det.nsw.edu.au/vetinschools/
The NSW Board of Studies is responsible for the inclusion of training package qualifications in the HSC studies. Further information is available at www.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au .
Mental Health Coordinating Council (MHCC)
The Mental Health Coordinating Council (MHCC) is the peak body for non-government organisations (NGOs) working for mental health throughout New South Wales (NSW). MHCC's membership includes NGOs, both specialist and mainstream, and other bodies interested in mental health.
Mental Health Association NSW
The Mental Health Association NSW Inc is a non-government organisation and registered charity funded by Northern Sydney Area Health. Members are people who are interested in mental health issues. The Association's major activities include provision of the Mental Health Information Service, the Anxiety Disorders Alliance, support groups including training and establishment of new groups), mental health promotion and advocacy.
NSW Consumer Advisory Group- Mental Health Inc (NSW CAG)
The state-wide, incorporated, non-government organisation that provides an ongoing mechanism for mental health consumer and carer participation into policy and service development, implementation and evaluation. NSW CAG acts as a bridge between consumers and carers in NSW and State and Federal Governments. An essential part of NSW CAG's role is to encourage consumer and carer input in decision making at all levels concerning mental health provision.
Provides support and advocacy for families and friends with mental illness or disorder.
NSW Community Services and Health ITAB and NSW DET resources include:
This free online short course is for those who need to develop or review policy. It will provide learning to develop the necessary skills to research and consult policy needs, draft policy content, test the draft policy, implement policy and review policy for quality assurance.
This learning is designed to assist in the development of policies for NGO workplaces. While it focuses on child protection policy development and incorporates objectives and requirements detailed in the NSW Keep Them Safe initiative the learning may be applied to any area of policy development in community services work.
There is no time limit to this resource so you are able to work through the learning at your own pace and select topics as many times as you like. The resource contains activities that you may complete as an e-portfolio for assessment by a registered training organisation to achieve the national unit of competency CHCPOL504B Develop and implement a policy.
Available now at www.workplaceskills.com.au
Please contact NSW Community Services and Health ITAB regarding training and assessment resource needs for the qualifications or skills sets in this industry sector.
Other resources may be available from industry peaks, Registered Training Organisations and Community Services and Health Industry Skills Council.