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Implementation of the Workforce Strategic Framework

The Commission has developed the Mental Health, Alcohol and Other Drug Workforce Strategic Framework 2020-2025 to guide the growth and development of an appropriately qualified and skilled workforce that will deliver individualised, high quality mental health, alcohol and other drug (AOD) services and programs for the Western Australian community. It meets action 88 of the Western Australian Mental Health, Alcohol and Other Drug Services Plan 2015-2025 and aligns with the WA State Priorities Mental Health, Alcohol and Other Drugs 2020-2024 which identifies sector development as a priority stream of work.

The Workforce Strategic Framework was developed following extensive consultation and engagement with key stakeholders including: consumers, families and carers; government departments; key non‑government organisations; peak mental health and AOD bodies; and clinicians and their representative bodies. An external Workforce Strategy Advisory Group, which included representatives from the mental health and AOD sectors, guided its development. The sector peak bodies, the Western Australian Network of Alcohol and other Drug Agencies (WANADA) and the Western Australian Association for Mental Health (WAAMH), were also commissioned to map the existing mental health and AOD sector workforce, and to develop key recommendations for workforce development and planning.

The Minister for Mental Health released the Workforce Strategic Framework on 28 October 2020. Read the Minister's media statement

Priority areas and principles

The Workforce Strategic Framework includes example strategies and actions that can be undertaken to support the growth and development of an appropriately qualified and skilled mental health and AOD workforce. These have been categorised into the following priority areas:

  1. Support the current and future workforce to deliver high quality, modern, culturally appropriate and secure, services and programs;
  2. Ensure the specialist workforce is adequately configured and supported to meet the requirements of the Western Australian community;
  3. Promote innovation in service delivery and encourage the uptake of best practice and evidence informed practices, including the integration of services and delivery of holistic, whole of person support;
  4. Support relevant health and human service agencies outside of the mental health and AOD specialist providers, and their staff, to deliver appropriate mental health and AOD services; and
  5. Improve workforce data collection and continually monitor and evaluate.

The following principles underpin the Workforce Strategic Framework and align to the Plan and key workforce development concepts:

  1. The preferences of consumers, families, carers and communities are appropriately reflected;
  2. Workforce planning and development occurs across the service spectrum;
  3. Equity, respect for diversity, cultural inclusivity and cultural security are of paramount importance;
  4. All staff within the mental health and AOD workforce, are actively involved in workforce planning and development issues;
  5. Recovery-oriented practice underpins service delivery;
  6. Holistic, whole-of-person services are common practice;
  7. Trauma-informed and family-inclusive methods are common practice;
  8. Workforce configuration is flexible and responsive; and
  9. Changes within the workforce are sustainable.

Current Status

In consultation with WAAMH, WANADA and Consumers of Mental Health WA, the Commission developed four initial packages of initiatives to support the first phase of implementation of the Workforce Strategic Framework in the non-government sector. They focus on:

  • Aboriginal workforce development;
  • peer workforce capacity building;
  • employment pathways and organisational capacity building; and
  • training in trauma-informed care and practice.

The Commission is currently working with relevant stakeholders to progress and monitor the packages of release initiatives.

More information on the four packages of initiatives

The Commission is also developing the next phase of priority actions to guide the implementation of the Workforce Strategic Framework. Future phases will incorporate initiatives to support both the clinical and non-clinical workforces, across the public and non‑government sectors.

Implementation Approach

The Commission is preparing an Internal Implementation Plan that will focus on the activities within the Commission that support the progression of the Workforce Strategic Framework. It is also recognised that implementation of the Workforce Strategic Framework across the sector will require the support and participation of a broad range of stakeholders including the Commission, Department of Health, service providers, peak bodies and other key agencies within the government, non‑government and private sectors.

The Commission will work will stakeholders to ensure that both clinical services providers and the community sector are supported to develop implementation plans that support the priorities established in the Workforce Strategic Framework. Clinical service providers and community sector providers, including peak bodies, will be invited to participate in this process.

Your agency's plan

If you wish to develop your own implementation plan, a simple template is available. Organisations are encouraged to determine their own implementation activities and priorities and how they align or coordinate with the other agencies, and align to the overall improvement of the system as a whole.

Access the Workforce Strategic Framework 2020-2025, along with the simple Implementation Plan template and instructions.

For further information, please submit a form via the Contact Us page.

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