Objective: The Third National Mental Health Plan places a strong emphasis on the development of an Aboriginal mental health workforce. This paper documents the establishment, implementation and initial evaluation of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child and Adolescent Mental Health Traineeship Program, a partnership initiative involving Hunter New England Area Health Service (HNEAHS), Hunter New England Aboriginal Mental Health (HNEAMH) and the Department of Psychological Medicine at the Children's Hospital at Westmead (CHW), with guidance and input from additional collaborators. Conclusions: The program includes: (i) employment as a child and adolescent mental health worker and professional support and supervision through HNEAHS; (ii) a mentoring program provided through HNEAMH; (iii) formal academic studies in Aboriginal Mental Health; and (iv) a clinical education and supervision program conducted through the Department of Psychological Medicine, CHW. Initial feedback suggests that this is a promising program to train Aboriginal child and adolescent mental health workers. Further evaluation will provide information about its viability and effectiveness in providing an integrated, collaborative child and adolescent mental health service for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and their families.
- Child and adolescent mental health