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First round of graduates for Diploma of Mental Health

Supporting District staff to provide best practice mental health care.

Jasmine Yu and Chloe Burns speak to a crowd.
SydneyConnect Image: Jasmine Yu (L) and Chloe Burns (R) are among the first round of Sydney Education Diploma of Mental Health graduates.

For Jasmine Yu, one of the highlights of completing the Diploma of Mental Health was connecting with experienced clinicians and experts in the mental health field. 

“Their wealth of knowledge and guidance greatly influenced our personal and professional growth,” said Jasmine. “It was a comprehensive approach to enhancing the overall wellbeing of the consumers we work with.” 

Jasmine works as a social worker with the Canterbury Mental Health Core Team and was one of 10 clinicians from across the District who recently became the first graduates of the Diploma in Mental Health.  

The course was developed to support staff in providing best practice care for mental health patients in our community. 

“We not only acquired knowledge about improving quality of care, but also gained insights into the dynamics of stakeholder engagement and project management,” added Jasmine.  

“Our graduation signifies not only the end of a transformative chapter but the beginning of a lifelong journey to make a difference.” 

Director of Sydney Education, Lesley Innes said that the new, nationally-recognised qualification is the first of its kind across NSW Health.  

“Development of the Diploma in Mental Health was a partnership between Sydney Education and our District's Community Mental Health, and the result is a unique and contextualised qualification,” Lesley said.  

“The diploma supports our staff to enhance their skills and knowledge so they can continue providing best-practice care to mental health patients in our community.” 

The diploma is offered to registered nurses, occupational therapists, social workers, Aboriginal mental health clinicians and psychologists working in community mental health in the District. 

Another recent graduate, Chloe Burns, described the graduating cohort as having a shared mission to de-stigmatise mental health and promote inclusivity within their communities.  

Chloe, an occupational therapist with Easter Sector Acute Care Services, touched on the value of building stronger connections with colleagues from different teams while they completed the diploma. 

“We have a unique job and one that demands a lot of mental resilience. Being able to share the peaks and troughs of this role with colleagues has been a highlight,” said Chloe.  

“These past 18 months have allowed us to break down the invisible barriers between teams and have a greater confidence to work, knowing we are a united community mental health service.” 

Chloe acknowledged Nora Zhong and Marika Van Ooyen who coordinated the course, saying that their passion for teaching and for trauma-informed mental health care helped make completing the diploma possible. 

“Along with Sophie Parnas and Etienne Kitto, Nora and Marika provided us with a safe and restorative space where we were permitted to share our concerns, worries and the things keeping us up at night, in a non-judgmental and supportive environment,” added Chloe. 

The 10 graduates received their diplomas at a special ceremony at Sydney Education.