TAFE NSW which has campuses in Bega, Moruya and Batemans Bay is offering an opportunity for NSW Health and community services employees on the South Coast – from cleaners to CEOs – to apply for a special scholarship to upskill in mental health.
In a first for the region, TAFE NSW is offering forty $3000 scholarships to existing health and community services workers in regional and remote areas, making them eligible to study a Certificate IV in Mental Health at no cost.
It comes as new research reveals Australian businesses lose over $6.5 billion each year by failing to provide treatment for employees with mental health conditions, while around 45 per cent of Australians between 16 and 85 will experience a mental illness at some point in their life.
According to Australia’s Future Health Workforce, there will be nationally an undersupply of 18,500 mental health nurses by 2030. Similar shortages in the face of a growing population and increasing demands are predicted across other sections of the mental health workforce.
TAFE NSW Community Services Team Leader Liz Henigan said the NSW Rural and Regional Mental Health Scholarship would ensure existing workers, including volunteers, were qualified to move to a mental health role or better equipped to identify mental health issues in the workplace in their current role.
“There are incredible opportunities in the mental health field right now and this qualification gives you the practical skills and experience to take the next step,” Ms Henigan said.
“The last few years have highlighted the wellbeing challenges so many people have experienced, and by supporting this initiative, NSW is further building its capacity to support people in regional and remote areas.
“It’s important to remember support can take many forms, from a simple but genuine acknowledgement of someone’s sadness or loneliness, through to referral to specialist support.
“The TAFE NSW Certificate IV in Mental Health is an industry leading qualification that can lead to many roles in the mental health field.”
The course will be delivered via virtual classroom, ensuring students can study where and when it best suits their schedule.
Any existing health or community services employee in regional NSW, in any role, is eligible to apply for the scholarship HERE.
Applications close on 26 February.
Image: TAFE NSW