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Wodonga TAFE, Ermha365 and Mental Health Victoria partner to support psychosocial disability training.

Friday, 26 February 2021

Wodonga TAFE, ermha365 and Mental Health Victoria have partnered to develop and implement psychosocial disability training, to provide realistic interactive education and experience for disability students and workers.

It will begin as a pilot program at Wodonga TAFE, to be later pushed out through all Victorian TAFEs that offer Certificate IV in Disability.

Delivery of this training is set to commence within two weeks for Wodonga TAFE students. Industry training with local community organisations and disability services will follow this.

This project began with consultation, research and development in 2018.

"Ermha365, which is a psychosocial disability service that works with quite complex clients throughout Victoria, approached us with Mental Health Victoria, to look at ways we could support the psychosocial disability workforce," Manager Community Services and Health, Fiona Maher said.

The program attained $1.5 million of funding from the Victorian Government, to develop the resources and tools needed to simulate such complex mental health and psychosocial disability scenarios.

This is being made interactive and realistic through creating multimedia training resources, developed with psychosocial-affected people, leading specialists and industry bodies. Such resources include podcasts and interviews, videos, and virtual-reality training that responds to users interaction.

Department Team Leader Julie Fry said it would enhance students' learning, “What ermha365 has done helping create these resources, is use the voice of people with psychosocial disability to script VR avatars that are very real."

"Our students can actually be in a real-life situation, and using their words will escalate or de-escalate, resulting in a realistic response from an avatar suffering from a psychosocial disability."

Wodonga TAFE is excited to see the industry and community benefits from this program, and to help provide training for students and disability workers so they're best prepared to assist those in our communities with psychosocial disability needs.




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