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TAFE NSW is helping to skill new mental health workers in Western Sydney following a spike in demand for services in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and extended lockdowns.
The mental health workforce has grown by 12.9 per cent since 2019 and the 2021 Mental Health Workforce Profile forecast growing future demand in the sector, particularly through the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
South-west Sydney’s Michael Crowley-Mills is a prime example of how TAFE NSW’s practical, hands-on skills can help people build successful careers in the mental health workforce.
Michael completed qualifications in disability and welfare work at TAFE NSW Granville and was employed for many years in mental health and disability frontline service delivery.
After completing a management qualification and further tertiary studies, Michael landed a pivotal position as Operations Lead with One Door Mental Health, a state-wide mental health provider with 270 staff, 50 volunteers, and more than 45 offices across NSW.
“At One Door Mental Health we provide people with a circle of support that encompasses their holistic needs. TAFE NSW was instrumental in helping me to understand complex needs and how to reach out and connect with people in need of support,” Michael said.
“When I wanted to advance my career into a leadership role, TAFE NSW provided a pathway to upskill with all the foundational knowledge I needed to move into a management-level position within a busy NGO environment.”
Michael said TAFE NSW provided a balance between work and study so he could gain his qualifications while still earning a living.
“TAFE NSW gave me the flexibility to study online and do classes in the evening,” he said.
“That combination also allowed for real-time development – I was learning skills at TAFE NSW and then applying that practical knowledge in my workplace. We also had industry leaders come and give talks with a broader view of the sector and its purpose, which was a great inspiration.”
Michael said another important part of the TAFE NSW experience was connecting with fellow students and networking with other workers in the mental health and community services sector.
“In these industries we all interconnect – there are many links between service providers and within different support systems,” he said.
“Making those industry connections through TAFE NSW was really valuable for my career and also benefits the people you are trying to help and support.”
Explore hundreds of courses and pursue your passion with life-changing training at TAFE NSW. For more information visit www.tafensw.edu.au or phone 131 601.
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