Collaboration • Knowledge • Leadership

Collaboration • Knowledge • Leadership

Mental health, AOD workers unite for historic conference

Jul, 2022

On Monday 18 July 2022 service providers and other workers from across the Victorian mental health and alcohol and other drugs (AOD) sectors united for a historic joint conference.

Working Better Together: A shared vision for AOD and Mental Health was hosted by the Victorian Alcohol And Drug Association (VAADA) in partnership with Mental Health Victoria.

Keynote speakers included Katherine Whetton, Deputy Secretary, Mental Health in the Victorian Department of Health; Mary O'Hagan, the Victorian Government's Executive Director of Lived Experience; Shalini Arunogirithe new Clinical Director for Turning Point; James Horton, Chair, VMIAC Committee of Management; and Krista Vanderheide, Director, Mental Health and AOD Policy and Strategy, Mental Health and Wellbeing Division, Department of Health.

VAADA Executive Officer Sam Biondo and MHV CEO Marcelle Mogg also provided updates during the conference.

“Our partnership with VAADA in sponsoring today’s conference reflects the vital need for AOD and mental health services to work together, to realise effective and sustainable services to the community,” said Marcelle in her address.

“[At MHV] we recognise the vital role played by AOD services in supporting people living with mental health issues and people experiencing addiction.

“We know we cannot realise our vision for integrated, person-centred care, without adequately resourced and sustainable AOD services playing their critical role.”

Following the keynote addresses in the morning, a number of breakout sessions took a deeper dive into themes such as "How to implement, build, and sustain thriving LLEWs", "Co-occurring MH and AOD needs in the criminal justice context", and "Supporting the workforce through transitions".

Cross sector collaboration and workforce needs were key themes across the day.

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