The CMHL Statewide Mental Health Occupational Therapy Educator role is 1.0EFT. 2022 has welcomed Lara Nikitin and Elizabeth Davis to jointly support the ongoing role during Pheobe Williamson’s parental leave.
In 2020-2021, CMHL OT Educator engaged with Victorian Area Mental Health Services in a Scoping project to profile the OT workforce and ascertain the OT workforce areas of need and priorities. These workforce priority areas informed the direction for CMHL OT Educator projects and avenues to support the Victoria AMHS OTs with a specific emphasis on ensuring equity and access for all OTs across Victorian AMHS to access fundamental education and training.
What are we working on:
- Connect & Reflect
CMHL recognised and values the need to translate learning from training and education into routine practice, and that this requires the learning and support to continue beyond the theory and the initial workshop or training day.
CMHL supported this through the development of sub-specialty reflective spaces for clinicians to have a sharing and reflective space to explore training, learnings, practice successes and challenges, and share resources.
This space was co-produced in partnership with discovery college and with experts by experience.
Co-produced Connect and Reflect monthly online sessions commenced in July 2022.
- Clinical Supervision
OT Supervision is an integral aspect of OT clinical practice, professional development and personal growth. Through the original scoping project, it was identified that increased access to training and supervision skill development was required. Connections with OT leaders, identified that access to appropriate and skilled supervisors is a challenge across the state. Within smaller services or services with small or a single OT staff workforce, reported to have no access to supervision with an OT supervisor, or only access to peer supervision.
CMHL supported the delivery of Clinical Supervision e-Learning Modules as well as training workshops in CMHL calendar for those accessing supervision, as well as clinicians becoming or currently providing clinical supervision. CMHL are also developing a new Clinical Supervision training package.
- OTs in PARCs
CMHL supported the formation of OTs in PARCS Victoria community of practice. There is a unique role and perspective for OT within the PARC setting in comparison to other AMHS settings, warranting a specific community of practice for the OTs in PARCs across Victoria to connect, engage in peer supervision, inspire and share learnings and developments and initiatives at their respective PARCs. Throughout 2022 there were not consistent or permanent OTs positioned in all of the PARCs across Victoria, however, there appeared to be growing energy to increase the OT presence and role. This growing group of OTs deserved the supports and structures to form, establish and sustain an ongoing effective community of practice. CMHL OT Educator continued to support the group through their development and establishment.
- Peer connection
Further exploration occurred regarding the connection of OTs that practice in more isolated roles, such as the Aged Persons OTs, or OTs working in rural and regional settings. These OTs would benefit from opportunities to meet and share common experiences and challenges unique to their consumer cohort, setting, or location.
- Occupational Formulation and goal setting workshop
Occupational formulation was identified as a workforce priority area. Lara attended an engaging training workshop with Forensicare in March developing knowledge and skill in Occupational Formulation, from a Model of Human Occupation based approach.
This workshop training emphasised both education and skill development, and the need for ongoing support, leadership and structures to ensure OTs can implement this practical learning into their work practices.
CMHL are supported Forensicare to offer this training Statewide, for Victorian public mental health OTs, to link OT theory, assessment and treatment, through the creation of an occupational identity, competence and key occupational issues.
Statewide Mental Health Occupational Therapy Educator