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Mental Health Professional Online Development (MHPOD): a web-based training tool for the non-government community mental health workforce

Maria Ftanou (Research Fellow, based at Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia)
Anna Machlin (Research Fellow, based at Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia)
Angela Nicholas (Research Fellow, based at Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia)
Kylie King (Research Fellow, based at Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia)
Justine Fletcher (Research Fellow, based at Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia)
Carol Harvey (Associate Professor, based at Department of Psychiatry, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia)
Jane Pirkis (Professor, based at Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne, Australia)

The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice

ISSN: 1755-6228

Article publication date: 2 September 2014

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the usefulness and relevance of the Mental Health Professional Online Development (MHPOD) training package in further developing the skills in mental health and recovery-informed practice of the Australian non-government community mental health workforce. MHPOD is an evidence-based, self-paced, online learning resource that consists of 58 mental health topics.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 349 e-learners were recruited from seven non-government community mental health services across Australia. E-learners were invited to complete up to twelve online surveys, a baseline survey, a topic completion survey for each completed topic, and a follow-up survey towards the end of the pilot.

Findings

The majority of e-learners indicated that MHPOD was useful for professional development and relevant to their current employment. E-learners identified that MHPOD led to significant improvement in their knowledge and confidence in their ability. A number of enabling factors such as managerial and organizational supports, technical supports and up-to-date and relevant content materials need to be present for the successful implementation of online programs such as MHPOD.

Originality/value

Online training packages such MHPOD that a relatively easy to use are helpful in developing knowledge, and confidence in the skills of the mental health workforce. The evaluation findings suggest that MHPOD is a relevant and appropriate training tool for the non-government community mental health sector within Australia.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The MHPOD pilot was funded by the (then) Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing and the (then) Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs. The authors would also like to acknowledge the support and commitment of the Secretariat – Mental Health Workforce Advisory Committee, and in particular the work of Penny Tolhurst and Mark Davies of the Department of Health, Victoria and Wendy Katsourakis, the MHPOD pilot project lead in the non-government community mental health sector.

Citation

Ftanou, M., Machlin, A., Nicholas, A., King, K., Fletcher, J., Harvey, C. and Pirkis, J. (2014), "Mental Health Professional Online Development (MHPOD): a web-based training tool for the non-government community mental health workforce", The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice, Vol. 9 No. 3, pp. 177-189. https://doi.org/10.1108/JMHTEP-05-2014-0014

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited