On Wednesday, 16 August 2023, the Ministerial Interdisciplinary Clinical Advisory Group (the VTMH Manager is part of this forum), and some other leaders from the Department of Health were provided with the VTMH Community engagement resource, and the following letter:
Dear Interdisciplinary Clinical Advisory group (ICAG)
This message is to share the latest VTMH resource “Community Engagement with Purpose” with you. The objective of this resource is to support the mental health and wellbeing workforce to enhance their skills, knowledge and practice when engaging with diverse communities. This resource package includes a) the report, b) a tri fold booklet, c) the video series and 4 podcast series. VTMH will be offering education workshops based on these resources in 2024. https://vtmh.org.au/engaging-with-communities/
For VTMH, the process of developing this resource was very valuable. During the development of this resource, VTMH had the privilege of working with various individuals and community organisations in order to co-design, co-produce and collaborate. At various points, VTMH faced questions like: “how does co-design or collaboration look like in real life”, “how do we know that community members are really feeling invited and validated at the table”, how is feedback given to communities and received from communities” .
These were very useful questions and the VTMH project team took these questions in a considered way. Our processes included a) advisory groups from communities to mentor the VTMH project team (page 8 of report), b) 6 consultation groups drawn from a range of sectors in communities including peer workers and people with lived and living experience (page 9 of report), c) Videos and podcasts also position diverse voices (pages 13 and 14 of report), and finally d) the tri fold booklet focused on core concepts, core practices and core actions for individual practitioners and for organisations.
The project culminated after 2 years and was launched in August 2023. VTMH is proud to have committed, commenced and completed these resources during Covid-19 lockdown despite unprecedented challenges.
We see the VTMH resources in close alignment with the work that has been led by the Department of Health through the group called “Diverse Communities Mental Health and Wellbeing Framework and Blueprint for Action”. VTMH is also part of this working group and we envision that these resources will be a valued addition to the diverse community framework. We look forward to continuing joining efforts to build together a more culturally responsive system.
We hope you find the resources meaningful.