ACTivate Arts Therapy. Arts Therapist = Mental Health Practitioner

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Australia, and particularly Victoria, is experiencing a mental health crisis.

Arts Therapists are standing by ready to help - we just need some changes to government definitions.

Engaging the expertise of Mental Health workers is more crucial than ever in responding to the challenges facing Victorians due to COVID 19. The new initiative placing Mental Health Practitioners in all Victorian schools reflects this need.
The Victorian State Government's Mental Health Practitioners in Schools Initiative Information for Schools FAQ sheet states "there are known workforce supply shortages in the mental health sector".
There is an untapped workforce of trained Mental Health Practitioners who are ready and willing to participate in supporting the community - Arts Therapists.

Arts Therapy engages the power of the arts to promote health and is facilitated by a trained mental health professional - a Professional Arts Therapist.

Professional Arts Therapists are trained to Master's level in rigorous TEQSA approved training programs, and are members of the peak body ANZACATA. Professional Arts Therapists already work in hospitals, schools, mental health services, prisons, family violence prevention, NDIS, community health organisations and many other settings.

However, the definition of Mental Health Practitioner in the 2014 Victorian Mental Health Act does not mention Professional Arts Therapists and hence they are unable to help fill important roles such as the new Mental Health Practitioner in Schools positions being rolled out throughout Victoria.

We support an urgent  revision of the definition of Mental Health Practitioner in the 2014 Victorian Mental Health Act to include 'Professional Arts Therapist'.
This revision will enable a massively under-utilised workforce of highly trained professionals to help with the demands on the Mental Health sector during this time of crisis and beyond, in the recovery period.

Thank you for your support.

Dr Carla van Laar MCAT DTAP AThR