Workforce central to mental health response

March 25, 2021

The Minister for Mental Health James Merlino has launched the first instalment of reforms to address critical workforce shortages in the health sector and boost mental health support for all Victorians.

The new jobs and reforms were funded as part of a $235 million Recovery Workforce package following recommendation by the Interim Report of the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System, and include:

  • an extra 29 full-time Junior Medical Officer positions across Victoria, which is equivalent to 130 additional mental health medical trainee rotations, ensuring critical on-the-ground training opportunities – part of a $2.3 million investment
  • an expansion of the Graduate Mental Health Nurse program, creating 80 new positions across the state
  • 35 extra Senior Nurse Educators supporting the Graduate Mental Health Nurses, with positions prioritised in rural and regional Victoria, following an initial investment of $7.96 million
  • 70 new scholarships for training Postgraduate Mental Health Nurses – supported by an investment of $1.53 million to pay the full course-cost for nurses.

As part of these workforce recommendations, by 2023 all medical trainees in Victoria will complete a mandatory psychiatry rotation, giving all new doctors skills and knowledge of mental health they can use in their medical careers to the benefit of the community.

The recommendations will deliver 143 new roles to the mental health sector across Victoria.
The Final Report of the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System was handed down on 2 March 2021, and the Labor Government will implement every single one of its recommendations.

Information about new Postgraduate Mental Health Nurses Scholarships can be found at