Font size

In response to COVID-19, we're continuing to adapt our operations. View our latest COVID-19 updates.

The Mental Health Services (TheMHS) Conference 2023

Engaging with community: Introducing a co-designed resource for workers to strengthen engagement with diverse communities workshop facilitators at TheMHS

We’re delighted to share that VTMH had a larger presence at The Mental Health Services (TheMHS) Conference this year, with four submissions being accepted. These included two workshop sessions, a paper presentation and poster presentation. These touched on a variety of projects and themes VTMH has been involved in over the past year.

The two workshop presentations highlighted our Partners in Diversity Program and a recently released Community Engagement Resource.  The workshop, Embedding cultural responsiveness in a mental health service – addressing human rights through equity of access, was co-facilitated with the two partnership consultants from Better Health Network, who have been leading the Partners in Diversity work at their service.  TheMHS provided an excellent opportunity to showcase the work that VTMH and Better Health Network have been undertaking over the last three years to support organisational cultural responsiveness.

The second workshop, Engaging with community: Introducing a co-designed resource for workers to strengthen engagement with diverse communities, was focused on sharing a suite of new resources to support mental health practitioners and organisations to undertake community engagement work. The resources were produced as part of the two-year Community Engagement with Purpose Resource Project that had just been launched at the beginning of August 2023. The interest in the resource was evident given the number of audience members in attendance. The workshop featured a panel which included a number of Advisory Group Members who reflected and shared their knowledge and experience of working with communities around mental health and wellbeing.

VTMH also had the opportunity to present a paper entitled Dare to Care…Human Rights and Compassion in the Workplace. This paper aimed to address how education and training of the workforce could better support compassionate and rights-based services. Most importantly, how would the experience of people seeking support and wellness be improved? The session generated conversation about cultural safety and cultural humility and how sharing lived experience helps bring these ideas to life.

Finally, in collaboration with Headspace Dandenong/Hastings site, VTMH also submitted a poster for display entitled Improving cultural responsiveness: Reflections from a short-term localised project at a youth mental health service. The poster told the story of how the two services collaborated on a short-term pilot project, which aimed to explore and identify organisational cultural responsiveness learning gaps and considerations for addressing these.