Volunteers have been recognised as an integral part of the mental health workforce by the Select Committee on Mental Health and Suicide Prevention.

The Centre for Volunteering appreciates the recommendation that the Australian Government formally acknowledge the value of the volunteer mental health workforce, as below.

Recommendation 22

5.287 The Committee recommends that the Australian Government formally acknowledge the value of the volunteer mental health workforce, with consideration of its role, training, and standards included in the final National Mental Health Workforce Strategy and subsequent implementation plans.

Mental Health and Suicide Prevention – Final Report, Page 174

The Committee also expressed its thanks to the volunteer mental health workforce and stated that volunteers must be recognised within the structures that underpin the mental health and suicide prevention workforce.

Committee comment

5.284 The Committee expresses its thanks to all those who volunteer their time to help others in times of need, and acknowledges that many who volunteer do so because they have at some point been impacted by mental illness, suicide or other life challenges.

5.285 Volunteers are giving, and in return, they must be recognised not only by the organisation they work for, but also within the structures that underpin the mental health and suicide prevention workforce. This means having volunteers and those who employ them represented on national mental health workforce taskforces, and in the strategies and implementation plans being developed.

Mental Health and Suicide Prevention – Final Report, Page 173

You can read the full Mental Health and Suicide Prevention – Final Report here.