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Transition of Victorian Mental Health Learning & Development Cluster functions to the Centre for Mental Health Learning (CMHL)

Victoria’s State-wide Learning and Development Clusters (the Clusters) have been serving the state well for many years, providing regional coordination and support for mental health workforce training and development.

In 2018, the Centre for Mental Health Learning (CMHL) was established to support easier access for the mental health workforce regarding quality, contemporary, and innovative learning and development opportunities. The CMHL brings together existing mental health learning providers to create a central agency for accessing, collecting and sharing mental health learning, information, tools, resources and expertise. Much of this work is underway with the establishment of the CMHL website (see, as well as via extensive CMHL sector consultations with the mental health workforce, and with the implementation of a number of scoping activities with statewide mental health training providers.

The establishment of the CMHL creates a new environment for Victoria where many of the existing functions performed by the Clusters will be duplicated if changes are not made. The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has communicated with Cluster auspice agencies and all Cluster committee members that the transition of Clusters’ functions to the CMHL will occur on the 1st April 2020. This transition is in line with CMHL’s role as a central agency improving collective planning, coordination, implementation and sustainability of statewide activities. New positions will be established at CMHL to support regional coordination of training and development.

Between now and the 1st April 2020, the DHHS, CMHL, and existing Cluster committees will work closely together to ensure that CMHL work is informed by mental health service (MHS) representation; this also includes the identification of structures that will provide ongoing MHS input into CMHL statewide planning after this date. The DHHS, CMHL, and existing Clusters committees met for an initial planning day on Thursday 19th September 2019. This group will meet again on the 21st November 2019 to finalise 2020 statewide calendar events.

The DHHS and CMHL would like to clarify that ‘no cost’ training will continue to be offered through the CMHL; contributions to this training will be through health service expertise, from statewide trainers, and by commission where required, as has always been offered through the Clusters. The 21st November planning day will shape what this looks like for 2020. If you have anything that you would like to contribute to 2020 planning, please contact your local mental health service Cluster representative(s) before the 21st November 2019.

Many thanks
Dr Rosemary Charleston
Centre for Mental Health Learning, Vic

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