The Statewide Mental Health Occupational Therapy role is currently job-shared between Phoebe Williamson and Lara Nikitin. 

The role of the Occupational Therapy Educator continues to build upon the priority areas identified in the OT Workforce scoping report by offering OT discipline-specific training and workforce development activity based on both gaps previously identified as well as new needs. This scoping informed the development of the Strategic Plan for the Public Victorian Occupational Therapy Leadership Network which also informs our work directions- “together we go further”.  

Three occupational therapy workforce development priorities were in focus for 2023: 

Priority 1: Sensory Modulation  

Connect and Reflect sessions continue to be a popular space for occupational therapists to advance their use of collaborative sensory modulation assessment and intervention across Victorian public mental health services. Developed in response to the 2021 OT Statewide Education Day – Sensory Modulation Forum, this co-produced reflective session has been conducted 5 times with over 200 attendances. Topics have included: Introducing sensory modulation; sensory modulation, DBT and self-harm; interoception; sensory resources and templates sharing; sensory groups and sensory assessments. A basecamp has been established to support resource sharing.  


Priority 2: Supervision  

Clinical supervision is a high priority for all disciplines across Victorian Mental Health Services. The following resources have recently been made available to support occupational therapists in their professional supervision: 

  • The Mental Health Allied Health Clinical Supervisor Database was developed in 2023 in response to the high demand for discipline specific supervision for all disciplines across Victoria in public area mental health services. The database will provide increased opportunity in the supervision space for all allied health professionals working in public area mental services. Clinical supervisors listed in the database have asserted that they meet the minimum criteria for inclusion in the database.   

Supervision Training Options: 

CMHL Training: Introduction to Clinical Supervision for Mental Health Clinicians This four module e-learning course provides an introduction to clinical supervision for mental health clinicians, and is designed for supervisees. The generic package was developed in partnership with the Queensland CMHL, with occupational therapy contribution and significant consultation from the workforce. learners are encouraged to provide feedback at the end of the package so that the training can continue to be modified and improved. This includes any discipline specific feedback. At the end of the 2 hour, self paced course, you will be able to:  

  1. define the purpose of clinical supervision based on what it is and what it is not 
  2. differentiate the roles and responsibilities of the supervisor, supervisee and organisation 
  3. establish a professional supervision relationship 
  4. identify discipline-specific requirements for clinical supervision and seek further resources 
  5. engage in clinical supervision as an informed participant. 

CMHL also offer multiple other clinical supervision workshops. To see what is on offer go tohttps://cmhl.org.au/cmhl-amhs-calendar https://cmhl.org.au/work/clinical-supervision-training

Other supervision training available includes: 

  • MHPOD Supervision and self care in mental health services Self-directed online training topic outlines the importance of supervision, examining supervision models and considerations for choosing a supervisor where this is possible. For routine practice, common barriers to effect supervision are explored and the rewards of being a supervisor highlighted. The topic also explores the emotional impact of mental health work and the importance of self-care as a complement to supervision, outlining strategies for health workers to optimise their well-being and professional practice 
  • OTA Professional Supervision Course is 12 week interactive e-learning program “will set you up to confidently undertake best practice supervision” https://www.otaus.com.au/cpd-and-events/supervision-program 
  • Bouverie supervision and group supervision training 
  • https://cmhl.org.au/training/child-aware-supervision 

Key Supervision Frameworks and Professional Resources 


Priority 5: Occupational Formulation & Goal Setting  

CMHL and Forensicare continue to collaborate to provide occupational formulation and goal setting training and implementation support for our Victorian Public Mental Health OT workforce. Three virtual statewide training days have been attended by 350 of our approx. 550 occupational therapists in September 2022, February 2023, and August 2023.  

Based on the Model of Occupational Formulation (MOHO), an occupational formulation involves collaboratively synthesising occupational therapy assessment information to present the persons occupational identity, occupational competence, occupational goals and plans.  



OTs came together to consider the evolution of OT mental health practice and what we can learn from the new Canadian Model of Occupational Participation (CanMOP). The education day was star studded with dynamic contributions from academic, research, lived experience, and cultural perspectives. Keynote speakers included Prof Mary Egan, co-author of the Canadian Model of Occupational Participation, Dr Chontel Gibson, (Researcher, Transforming Indigenous Mental Health and Wellbeing, School of Indigenous Studies, University of Western Australia & Co-Founder, National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Occupational Therapy Network) Prof Ellie Fossey (Monash University), Dave Barclay and Eila Lyons (CMHL Consumer Workforce Development Coordinators) and Jacqui Hill and Kelle Reid (Carer Family Workforce Development Coordinators). This was an important opportunity for OTs working Public Mental Health in Victoria to connect and gain inspiration and future direction for our collaborative relationship-focused, occupational-based practice.  

For information on the day please see https://cmhl.org.au/work/2023-cmhl-occupational-therapy-education-day or for more information on the CanMOP, check out: 


Communities of Practice  

We are supporting the establishment of sustainable communities of practice (CoP) to connect and support OTs working in similar practice settings. Current communities of practice include meet regularly and may have a ‘basecamp’ platform for online resource sharing and discussion: 

  • OTs working in OTs working in Prevention and Recovery Centres,  

  • OTs working in Inpatient Settings,  

  • OTs working with Older Adults,  

  • OTs working in Community Care Units,  

  • Implementation Leads for Occupational Formulations.  

Please contact Phoebe.Williamson@cmhl.org.au if you are interested in establishing a new community of practice or would like to join existing communities of practice.

Updated on 22/12/23 02:55 pm Share this page


Phoebe Williamson

Statewide Mental Health Occupational Therapy Educator

Lara Nikitin

Statewide Mental Health Occupational Therapy Educator

Other CMHL work

Updated 16 Apr 24
This page provides a snapshot of all of the latest plans for CMHL Mental Health Occupational Therapy Workforce Development activity in 2024. Bookmark...
Updated 12 Apr 24
CMHL proudly continues to coordinate the only statewide program of training for allied health graduates and practitioners transitioning to the...
Updated 12 Apr 24
CMHL proudly continues to coordinate the only statewide program of training for allied health graduates and practitioners transitioning to the...