100 signatures reached
To: Martin Foley, Minister for Mental Health
Fix our mental health staffing crisis: better mental health for consumers and staff
As Mental Health workers, we care about helping consumers recover. But when staffing is this low – we can barely do our jobs, and we’re burning out.
We're on the ground and can see the gaps, and we need you to make changes now.
• Employ more graduate and post graduate Nurses and Allied Health staff so that we have a new generation of Mental Health workers ready to take on the future
• Bring forward the employment of Allied Health Educators
2022 is a while away – why not start hiring Allied Health Educators today?
• Utilise more Psychiatric Services Officers and clinical staff in the community, giving Nurses more time to do their job, and having more staff in intervene earlier means better outcomes for everyone.
• Improve the Mental Health education and training system
Why is this important?
Our mental health system is in crisis.
There aren't enough staff in our mental health system, and it puts everyone at risk: consumers can't heal, and workers get hurt.
There are currently 450 vacant clinical positions across the state, this will soon be compounded by the need for an additional 350 positions in the forensic system with extensions to Ravenhall Prison and Thomas Embling Hospital scheduled to open in 2022.
HACSU members across the state are identifying intolerable workloads as a result of the vacancies, compromising the safety of staff and consumers.
The staffing shortages are also affecting other areas of clinical policy, such as the commitment to reducing the use of seclusion in mental health wards. When there aren’t enough staff on shift – it’s near intervene early enough that an agitated person doesn’t need to be secluded.
This will mean that mental health expenditure properly supports those Victorians who need it most.