Over the past 12 months, VTMH has been concentrating on strengthening our relationship with the rural and regional mental health sector through our VTMH Rural and Regional Approach Implementation Project.
The main aim of this project is to ensure that VTMH’s programs and services take into account the unique needs of the rural and regional mental health and wellbeing sector and that their perspectives are included and considered across all of VTMH’s programs and services.
Recently, we facilitated two Consultation Sessions with the VTMH Rural and Regional Liaison Group who represent each of the eight mental health and wellbeing services across rural and regional Victoria. The first session was well attended with representation from each of the rural and regional mental health and wellbeing services. The session generated enthusiastic discussion around commitment to engagement between VTMH and the rural and regional mental health and wellbeing sector. This included conversation around the benefits and the opportunities of this work, which will form part of the Terms of Reference for this group.
The second Consultation Session was held in late November and the aim of this session was to scope the current needs of the rural and regional mental health and wellbeing services in terms of capacity building and cultural responsiveness in the current context (reform, Covid, etc.); and identify barriers and enablers of the rural and regional services accessing VTMH programs and services.
VTMH will use the information gathered to make a set of organisational recommendations to embed into all of our programs and services. This will lead us into the next phase of this work which will be guided by the reflections shared during these sessions.
VTMH looks forward to continuing this valuable work with the rural and regional mental health and wellbeing services.