The Office of the Chief Mental Health Nurse provides the following updates reflecting progress and innovation of mental health nursing practice in Victoria.


Engaging Carers

Currently, the Office of the Chief Mental Health Nurse is working collaboratively with a range of stakeholders, including carers, carer workforce, consumers, clinicians and peak organisations to co-design an implementation plan alongside the launch of the Office of the Chief Psychiatrist guideline: working together with families and carers.

Promoting Consumer Rights

One of the four statutory roles of Victoria’s Office of the Chief Psychiatrist is to promote the rights of persons receiving mental health services.  The Office of the Chief Psychiatrist has focused its consumer rights work on reducing restrictive interventions, and on promoting gender and sexual safety. The current objective of the Promoting Consumer Rights project is to reconceptualise this primary role of the Office and build a stronger, more strategic and consumer-driven foundation for the Office of the Chief Psychiatrist’s work.  This work is being led by the Senior Consumer Advisor in the Office of the Chief Mental Health Nurse.

The Clinical Supervision Framework Implementation plan  

A  5 year implementation program of work has commenced with a pilot site being funded to support a 12 month supported implementation of the Clinical Supervision framework and Clinical Supervision Standards (draft). The Chief Mental Health Nurse is pleased to announce that Peninsula Health has been the successful applicant for the 12 month Pilot AMHS. Peninsula Health will be working with all the senior nurses, the OCMHN, the CMHL, CPN and all mental health nurses across Victoria to create state-wide learnings and support  the changes required for Framework  implementation and sustainability planning going forward.

Work continues on finalising the draft standards. There is also an evaluation project which will sit alongside the other pieces of work.

Safewards Victoria

The Safewards Community of Practice has been established as an ongoing support network and the Safewards Faculty continues to provide guidance to the project.  The Annual Forum serves as a platform to engage all stakeholders.  In 2019, the Annual Forum will be held on 29 October.

The first international Safewards Day was established on 10 July 2019, which was celebrated around the world. International Safewards Day was founded by Safewards Victoria, and it included world-wide mental health sites, as well as the participating emergency departments and one general ward.

Safewards Victoria in Emergency Departments is a world first. The pilot is well underway with planning and training phases completed and implementation of interventions currently occurring. The trial project is being externally evaluated by Melbourne University and is due for completion December 2020.

Planning for Safewards Victoria in general acute settings has begun, with target services to be decided and training schedule to be confirmed.  The pilot will run from 1 March 2020 to December 2021. Safewards Victoria is now a recognised resource in the National Safety and Quality Health Standards and can be used as evidence in meeting accreditation. Continued interstate and global interest has established Safewards Victoria as a best practice framework for conflict reduction and increased safety.

Child and Youth Mental Health State-wide Nursing Leadership Visits

The Office of the Chief Mental Health Nurse is undertaking a program of Mental Health Nursing Leadership Visits to Child, Adolescent and Youth Mental Health Services in Victoria. These visits provide opportunities for services to showcase their successes and provide updates on current projects and challenges. A focus on reducing restrictive interventions, sexual safety notifications, workforce development and clinical governance structures provide the platform of enquiry. Additionally, as part of these visits, OCMHN is fostering opportunities for cross service networking, inviting senior representatives from other CYMHS service to accompany the team on their visits. This invitation facilitates sharing of experience, ideas and progress.

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