A new scholarship program will support Canberrans with lived mental health experience to undertake nationally recognised vocational training in mental health peer work.
The Mental Health Peer Work Scholarship Program is now taking applications from people with lived mental health experience and is open until 23 June 2023. Successful applicants will receive up to $5,000 in funding to complete a Certificate IV in Mental Health Peer Work. Six scholarships are available for studying commencing in 2023.
Minister for Mental Health Emma Davidson said the program is part of the ACT Government’s ongoing commitment to developing and supporting the mental health workforce in the ACT.
“Our mental health workforce directly influences mental health and wellbeing outcomes across the community,” Minister Davidson said.
“Having an experienced, skilled and engaged workforce is critical in ensuring the delivery of high-quality services and support for people experiencing mental health issues, their families and their carers.”
Peer workers have a lived experience of mental illness and provide valuable contributions by sharing their experience of mental illness and recovery with others.
They provide person-centred treatment, care and support that places the person with mental health concerns at the centre of their care.
“The peer workforce has an integral role in the broader service delivery system, bringing valuable skills and experiences that assist people receiving mental health care, and their carers, on their recovery journey,” Minister Davidson said.
“Research has shown peer workers can help people to recover sooner, to stay in recovery longer, and, and increase engagement and empowerment for people receiving care and for health care providers.”
Creating and growing a skilled mental health peer workforce is supported through the ACT Mental Health Workforce Strategy, the Office for Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategic Approach to Mental Health in the ACT, and the ACT Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan.
The scholarship program is funded through the Commonwealth Department of Health and Aged Care.