The National Mental Health Workforce Strategy 2021-2031 aims to recognise the work of people in mental health settings, other health and social services settings, and in the broader community. It will include measures to sustain a comprehensive workforce to respond to the prevention, intervention, and recovery needs of Australians experiencing mental ill-health. A final strategy is due to be submitted to the government in late 2021.
Volunteering Australia provided a submission to the Workforce Strategy highlighting the extensive contributions of volunteers in the sector, and the need to recognise and support volunteer involvement.
In the submission, Volunteering Australia makes the following recommendations:
- Include volunteers in data collection efforts as part of the proposed data strategy for the mental health workforce.
- Recognise the contributions of volunteers in key service areas including suicide prevention, supporting those experiencing perinatal anxiety and depression, supporting new parents, targeting loneliness and social isolation, identifying and responding to family violence, mental health education, advocacy, peer advisory, and sector development.
- Include volunteering as a means of improving the attractiveness of the mental health sector.