Bringing them home: A Gippsland mental health workforce recruitment strategy

Keith Sutton, Darryl Maybery, Terry Moore

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


This paper reports on preliminary findings of a novel program piloted in 2010 to address rural mental health workforce shortages. The program involved exposing allied health and nursing students from rural backgrounds studying in Melbourne to mental health service employment opportunities in Gippsland. Alongitudinal study is underway to evaluate the effect and outcomes of the program and includes surveying participants' interest in rural mental health work through an online questionnaire immediately prior to and following the program; and surveying career decisions at 6 months and yearly intervals. Paired sample t-tests were used to analyse participants' level of interest in rural work (pre-event 4.67 (1.50); postevent 5.93 (0.96); P = 0.001), career in a rural setting (pre-event 4.67 (1.63); post-event 5.67 (1.23); P = 0.006), mental health work (pre-event 4.73 (1.39); post-event 6.07 (0.80); P < 0.000) and rural mental health career (pre-event 4.73 (1.33); postevent 5.80 (1.21); P = 0.002). These findings indicate a significant increase from pre-to post-event and are supported by strong effect sizes suggesting that the program had a significant effect on participant interest in rural mental health work. Longer-term evaluation will determine whether the program influences participant career decisions and thereby addressing mental health workforce shortages in Gippsland.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-82
Number of pages4
JournalAustralian Health Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 24 Feb 2012
Externally publishedYes


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