Department of Health

Regional mental health workforce incentives

The Regional Mental Health Workforce Incentives program aims to:

  • Support the attraction, recruitment, and retention of new workers to priority positions in state funded mental health and alcohol and other drug services in rural and regional Victoria  
  • Support individuals and their dependents to move, settle and integrate into rural and regional Victorian communities. 

The Royal Commission recommended the Victorian Government establish a new incentive scheme to address workforce supply challenges in rural and regional Victoria. 

The Victorian Government is investing $13.7 million over the next four years in the new incentives.

The funding is part of the Victorian Government’s record investment in the mental health and wellbeing workforce. This funding is providing more jobs, services, education, training and career development opportunities across the state, including rural and regional Victoria.

About the incentives 

The Regional Mental Health Workforce Incentives program includes the following elements:

Workforce relocation and incentive grants

Grants are being provided to encourage and support mental health and alcohol and other drugs (AOD) workers to relocate, settle and remain in rural and regional areas. Grants will be available to qualified workers recruited to priority, hard-to-fill positions within state funded mental health and AOD services. 

Integration support for workers and their families

New navigator roles are being established to ensure candidates are adequately supported prior to employment, during relocation, and in their settlement and integration into local communities. Pre-employment and integration support will be provided to connect individuals and their families to essential services and to create the social and professional connections needed to settle into their new community. A number of these navigator roles have already commenced with more to come.

Support for promotion of jobs and incentives program

Specialist support will be provided to services to promote and advertise job opportunities. Tailored approaches will be adopted to attract workers from metropolitan areas, interstate, and overseas to rural and regional services across Victoria. 

Service eligibility

State funded mental health and AOD services based in MMM2 – MMM6, under the Modified Monash Model are eligible to apply for grants. 

Grant scope

Grants will support costs associated with attracting workers, relocating and settling in rural and regional areas. Services will negotiate with recruits regarding expenses they will be able to claim. Grants will be flexible to support costs such as accommodation, relocation, childcare, school fees and vehicle costs for new workers.   

Grant administration 

Grants will be administered by Rural Agency Workforce Victoria (RWAV). Further information and grant application forms are available from the RWAV website.

Grant guidelines 

See Area Mental Health and Wellbeing Services guidelines on RWAV website

See Community-managed Mental Health and Alcohol and Other Drug services guidelines on RWAV website.

Reviewed 05 January 2023

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