Building Professional Skills

Educational Opportunities

Geographical isolation of rural and remote communities decreases access to ongoing education and training that is accessible in urban areas. By sourcing and linking to lectures and forums, opportunities are opened for rural clinicians and other members of the mental health workforce to improve clinical knowledge and skills and become part of larger learning communities.

Mental health Professional Network meetings are coordinated quarterly in Broken Hill and Wilcannia, encouraging primary health services to learn more about responding to mental illness, and facilitating appropriate referral and support pathways.

Student Placements

The BH UDRH has a comprehensive student placement program. The Mental Health Academic links closely with the student placement coordinator to tailor student placements in mental health and related services that meet course objectives.

Students are able to experience working alongside mental health workers in both government and non-government services as well as visiting organisations that assist both consumers and carers of mental health services.

The Social Work Field Placement program has achieved success in attracting students to undertake placements in Broken Hill as well as recruiting students to local organisations on completion of their studies. This placement program continues to grow.

Person Centred Care in Mental Health

A collaborative education project, supported by the Broken Hill, University Department of Rural Health (BHUDRH), and the Far West Local Health District (FWLHD) has led to the development of a one-day workshop on person-centred care.

The aim of the workshop is to improve the delivery of mental health care by health workers. The workshop combines theoretical perspectives of mental health care with the lived experience of the consumer, as receiver of care within a person centred approach.

Teaching students/ health workers about the impact of mental health care delivery models on the person experiencing mental health problems can influence changes in practice.

Workshops are scheduled at regular intervals during the year. Evaluations from the last 10 years show that students value the contribution of the consumer stories and that after attending the workshop they have understanding of mental health issues and feel more confident about working with consumers experiencing mental health problems.

For further information please contact the Mental Health Academic on 08 80801200