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Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System

Case study:

Health Education and Training Institute (NSW)

NSW’s Health Education and Training Institute (HETI) provides education and training to support more than 110,000 clinical and non‑clinical staff, trainers and leaders across New South Wales’ health system. HETI was established in 2012 as a statutory health corporation and reports to the Ministry of Health (NSW Health).

HETI works closely with local health districts and specialty networks and other public health organisations across New South Wales to ensure programs are relevant and responsive to the needs of health professionals. Annette Solman, the Chief Executive of HETI, said:

We also work with the Ministry of Health, to identify what are the emerging and critical workforce needs now and into the future, to ensure that we have a highly skilled and capable workforce in the delivery of quality and timely care to our patients.

Dr Roderick McKay, from HETI’s Mental Health Portfolio, said the education and training programs are designed to build skills that could be effectively applied in practice.

HETI provides education and training that people can actually integrate into their workplace and see a difference. We are able to use experts from across NSW Health to achieve this.

HETI’s offering includes professional development and training networks. It is also an accredited provider of higher education and currently delivers Postgraduate Certificate, Diploma and Masters‑level qualifications in Psychiatric Medicine and Applied Mental Health Studies. Its training is delivered through customised learning experiences via multiple modes including in‑person sessions, e‑learning, work placements and mentoring. Some of the modalities have been more limited recently due to the COVID‑19 pandemic. Importantly, the training HETI provides is guided by the lived experience of people with mental illness or psychological distress, families, carers and supporters.

HETI also undertakes educational research with a focus on embedding evidence‑informed practice, and publishes the peer‑reviewed Health Education in Practice: Journal of Research for Professional Learning. HETI has a dedicated research capacity building program for healthcare workers in rural and remote settings.

As part of its offering, HETI provides mental health education and training for the NSW Health mental health workforce, as well as for the wider health workforce. It works with sector partners to support improved mental health and wellbeing of the health workforce.

An example of the mental health professional development provided by HETI is the GP Mental Health Assessment and Management Skills workshop. It is a two‑day workshop that aims to develop GPs’ skills in mental health assessment and management planning and is based on a recovery‑focused model. Participants are trained by experts from psychiatry, general practice, trauma‑focused care and addiction medicine, along with people with lived experience.

Source: HETI, [accessed 19 November 2020]; HETI, 2018–2020 Health Education and Training Institute Strategic Plan, [accessed 19 November 2020].