Building capacity and empowering clinicians in regional Victoria

Improving access to quality and evidence-based treatment for people with personality disorder and complex trauma is one of Spectrum’s most fundamental goals. When approached by Mildura Base Hospital with a request to run a training series to try and achieve this, our response was: “When do we start?”

Thu, Mar 14

Building capacity

Spectrum Associate Director, Cathryn Pilcher is passionate about increasing workforce capacity to work therapeutically with people with BPD in regional and rural mental health and agreed to take on this project. It included a series of regular in-person training in the Core Competencies for BPD and an introduction to Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) training packages. Cathryn has also provided monthly post-training supervision to help participants translate the theory into practice.

Evidence-based, practical training

The focus of the core competencies training is to explore how the principles of evidence-based treatment approaches can be applied in any program and in any role, in order to increase the likelihood that every interaction can become a potential therapeutic moment in someone’s recovery journey.

The training focuses on key therapeutic factors that are practically applicable to many people working in various roles throughout the community, and include compassion, collaboration, deep listening, trauma-informed approaches, person-centred treatment planning and the inclusion of family and wider care teams.

Training success

Since the program began in July 2022, 83 staff have been trained in the core competencies and 44 have attended the introduction to DBT.

The training workshops have attracted staff from the Inpatient unit, Adult Continuing Care, HOPE, Emergency Department, ACIS, PARC, Sunraysia Community Health Services, Mildura District Aboriginal Service, Mallee Family Care, headspace National Youth Mental Health Foundation, Aged Persons Mental Health, Homelessness Youth Dual Diagnosis Initiative (HYDDI) and the learning and development team.

This project would not have been successful without the integral support from Adele Morrison from the Mildura Mental Health learning and development team who ensured that the training was identified as essential and promoted organisational support for staff to attend from a wide range of organisations in Mildura.

Collaboratively, potential local trainers and champions were identified and supported to attend the train-the-trainer program.

These trainers were mentored to facilitate the training in order to ensure the project is sustainable.

To date, one local champion (Renae Neyland from headspace) has been mentored to become a trainer and has co-delivered two of the core competencies training workshops.

By the end of 2023, the number of trainers will increase, with local trainers from various organisations in the community able to co-facilitate training.