Author: vtmh

Adapting our operations during COVID-19

We’ve been developing new opportunities for practitioners and teams to learn and stay connected online whilst our face-to-face events are on hold.  
Our existing range of self-directed online learning modules, covering a variety of topics on culturally responsive practice, are freely accessible to explore.  

You can also find links to translated information about Coronavirus (COVID-19) available in a range of community languages.

The VTMH team can be contacted via phone on (03) 9231 3300 or, and are utilising video and teleconferencing facilities as alternative ways to connect to continue to engage in project and partnership work. 

If you are interested in finding out about our upcoming online events and current news, please subscribe to our mailing list

We will continue monitoring the advice of relevant Government officials and look forward to connecting with you in new ways.  

Spirituality & Diversity Discussion Group 2019

This project was developed as a result of feedback from a joint forum held by VTMH and Spiritual Health Association in August 2017, ‘Opening Doors to Spiritual Experience: exploring practices that enrich personal recovery’. A strong theme that came out of the feedback received from this event was that mental health practitioners were wanting more reflective spaces to discuss Spirituality in regards to Recovery.

Through six, monthly sessions lasting 90 minutes each, these groups have consisted of participants from various mental health services across Victoria. Roles have included Lived experience practitioners, Case Managers, Community mental health practitioners, Psychiatric Nurses and Spiritual Care Workers.

The sessions were facilitated by Jennifer Greenham, Spiritual Health Association, James Godfrey a Spiritual Care Coordinator from Forensicare, Justin Kuay Consultant Psychiatrist, VTMH and Josie Tremain, Education & Service Development Consultant, VTMH.Each session of the program explored a different theme for reflection and discussion including:

  • Psychiatry and God — why re they such uncomfortable bedfellows?
  • I’m spiritual but not religious — what does this mean?
  • How to respond caringly to someone who believes they are Jesus, Mohammed or other revered sages.
  • How to respond to a request for prayer
  • Recovery & Spiritual Care Values — are we talking about the same thing?
  • Spirituality discussion groups — what’s involved and could you facilitate one in your workplace?

These discussion groups invited practitioners to share their experiences and insights, and to unpack some of the unknowns surrounding spiritual and religious discussions in mental health settings. They allowed practitioners to develop a deeper understanding of how to explore conversations with mental health consumers about their diverse spiritual beliefs.

The program received a high level of interest from across the mental health sector and demand for places filled very quickly. Evaluation of the feedback and outcomes of the program is currently underway and will determine the next phase of this program in 2020.

Thank you to all the participants that have attended and contributed to this series of discussions throughout 2019.

Some comments from the feedback:

“It was respectful, open, inquisitive and invitational”

“Everyone allowing space, fascinating perspectives, broadening understanding”

“Open mind to spirituality, there is no wrong door to recovery”

Improving your work with interpreters — New resource now available

It’s the outcome of a two-year project conducted in three phases, including consultation with interpreters, mental health practitioners and senior managers, consumer and carers, consolidation and design based on a review of consultation advice and current literature, and resource development to produce new materials, update our online learning module and prepare a project report.

View images from the launch held on 28th October 2019

Approaching work with interpreters in mental health settings includes a tri-fold booklet, a series of videos and a practice tips poster. We also documented the work in a Project Report. Click here to download a copy of the report, and to find out how you can access all the resources.