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‘Community engagement with purpose’: Approaches to consider in mental health settings

This workshop explores core concepts, practices and actions that support engagement with diverse communities.


Monday, 22 April 2024


Multicultural Hub, 506 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne





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About the workshop

This advanced workshop is designed for mental health practitioners looking to apply a community engagement lens to their work, or those working in mental health settings looking to engage with diverse communities around mental health and wellbeing.

Participants will explore core concepts, practices and actions that underpin community engagement work in mental health settings, and consider organisational factors that can help and hinder community engagement efforts.

The workshop is designed around the Community Engagement with Purpose Resource Project (VTMH, 2023), which used a co-design process to develop a suite of resources to support practitioners and organisations engage with diverse communities around mental health. Participants attending the workshop will receive a hard copy of the Resource Booklet and Project Report, and explore videos and other materials created through the project.

The workshop utilises a variety of facilitation modes, including small group work, grounded in a reflective practice approach.

An intentional and responsive approach to community engagement creates the opportunity for more purposeful and inclusive participation by diverse communities, to shape mental health service design and delivery.

To learn more about the Community Engagement with Purpose Project, please visit

Learning outcomes

In this workshop, participants will

  • Understand the notion of ‘community’
  • Explore and reflect on the purpose of community engagement in mental health settings
  • Recognize and critically reflect on the ways in which power operates in community engagement work
  • Explore meaningful ways, and barriers, to building relationships with communities
  • Recognise the varied nature of lived experience and importance of openness to diverse ways communities and individuals hold experiences
  • Understand and apply a range of concepts, practices and actions that underpin community engagement work in mental health settings.

Pre-requisite learning

This workshop is designed to build on key concepts, principles and practices explored in VTMH’s Foundations of Culturally Responsive Practice for Mental Health Practitioners Workshop and/or the VTMH online module, Orientation to Cultural Responsiveness. We believe you will have a deeper learning experience if you have had the opportunity to work with concepts, principles and practices explored in the above prior to attending this workshop, as knowledge of these concepts and practices will be assumed.

If you have not completed the prerequisite learning, we recommend you attend the VTMH Foundations of Culturally Responsive Practice for Mental Health Practitioners Workshop (click here) or complete the VTMH online module Orientation to Cultural Responsiveness (click here) prior to registering.

Date, duration and delivery style

Date: Monday 22nd April, 2024
Time: Doors open 9:15 am for a 9:30 start. Workshop concludes at 4pm.
Venue: Multicultural Hub, 506 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
Delivery style: This is a face to face (in person) workshop. Online attendance is unavailable for this session.

Morning tea and lunch provided. Dietary requirements can be advised during the registration process. Information about Covid safe procedures and other venue details will be provided to registrants closer to the workshop.

Target audience & eligibility

VTMH workshops are open to and provided free to staff working in Victoria’s state-funded mental health workforce. This includes public clinical and community mental health services, as well as state-funded mental health programs within community health and social services.

Staff working in a range of roles within this workforce, including but not limited to community rehabilitation and recovery workers, lived experience workers, mental health nursing, social work, occupational therapy, psychiatry, community engagement roles, program leaders/project workers and administration roles, are invited to register.

If you are unsure if this workshop might be relevant to your role please feel free to contact us via

How to register

Registrations are essential. We require that you register using your work email address, and provide your manager’s email details, as part of the registration process. If you are registering as part of a team, we ask that you please keep it to 2-3 attendees per team given the limited number of spaces available. Please note: Each individual attendee needs to register themselves.

Cancellation policy

We know circumstances change, however if you register for a workshop and are unable to attend, please contact us as soon as possible at This allows us to offer your space to those on our waiting lists and ensures workshops are full. Spaces in our workshops are limited to 25 and provided free through state funding.

Whilst we do our very best to deliver our workshops as scheduled, unforeseen circumstances may require us to cancel or postpone events at short notice. 

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