Mental health the focus for newly qualified staff

Mental health the focus for newly qualified staff
The arrival of new specialist nurses is set to further improve mental health care in the Northern Rivers and across NSW.

Six new graduates have just completed a tailored mental health program in Northern NSW Local Health District (NNSWLHD).

Already half the graduates have new jobs in full-time mental health roles across the district.  The remaining 3 are taking their new skills to the Emergency Department at Lismore Base and other hospitals.

The Transition to Mental Health Nursing Program (TMHNP) has produced 38 graduates since 2012, all with the skills and knowledge to excel in a career in mental health.

“This year’s graduates are so impressive, they are so enthusiastic  and are committed  to making a positive difference to the mental health of our patients.”

“Graduates of past programs have continued to build strong careers as Clinical Nurse Educators, acting Nurse Unit Managers, Clinical Nurse Specialists, and Case Managers,” Nurse Educator, Ryan Rooney, said.

The six people selected for the program each year share clinical rotations in Child and Adolescent Mental Health (Kamala), Community Mental Health, Adult Mental Health (Tallowwood), and Older Persons Mental Health (Lilli Pilli).

“We also factor in a fortnightly education session incorporating senior clinicians across the Network presenting information on a wide variety of topics,” said Mr Rooney.

“These include subjects such as evidence-based practice and research, psychoanalytic theories, and mental state exams, to name a few.”

Over the course of the 12-month program, the TMHNP participants also complete academic studies at a high level, allowing participants to apply for advance standing in post-graduate nursing studies at Southern Cross University.

The TMHNP program is currently in Tweed Heads and Lismore, with plans to expand to the Grafton Mental Health Service this year.

In 2018/19, the NSW Government is investing $100 million per annum over four years to strengthen early intervention and specialist community mental health teams, enhance psychosocial supports, and transition long-stay patients into the community.

For more information, visit the TMHNP website.


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