06 December 2022
PACFA CEO Johanna de Wever participated in Mental Health Australia’s Workforce Policy Day at Old Parliament House in Canberra on Friday 25 November. This included a National Mental Health Workforce Strategy presentation from Mark Roddam, First Assistant Secretary, Mental Health and Suicide Prevention and Anthea Raven, Assistant Secretary of the Mental Health Access Branch.
PACFA was among the 20 invited stakeholder organisations in attendance, which including service providers, advocates, membership organisations and government agencies. The presentation addressed the workforce plan, gaps and opportunities and changes in role for peer workforce and Indigenous Mental Health Workers.
Talking with Mr Roddam and Ms Raven, Johanna de Wever questioned the ongoing omission of counsellors and psychotherapists as priority workforces in the strategy. Ms Raven acknowledged that the capacity of the PACFA membership had been underutilised and that the government was keen to ensure this was addressed in the future. Ms Raven’s comments supported PACFA’s safety and quality agenda which includes PACFA's plan to join the National Alliance of Self-Regulating Health Professions alongside social workers, dietitians, speech pathologists and others, as a qualifying member in 2023.
‘PACFA is committed to doing the right thing for our membership,’ said Ms de Wever. ‘It's not an easy road – but 2023 will see significant steps taken to ensure our members get the recognition they deserve throughout the mental health sector’.