North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network (NWMPHN) recently funded a Collaborative Assessment and Management of Suicidality (CAMS) training program as part of its place-based suicide prevention trial.
CAMS training provides a unique philosophy of clinical care where patient and provider work together to assess the patient’s suicidal risk and use that information to plan and manage suicide-specific, “driver-oriented” treatment. This was a unique opportunity to have the US-based trainers provide face-to-face training in Victoria, enabling evidence-based and innovative best practice care in our community.
NWMPHN successfully enrolled 35 mental health clinicians in the local government areas of Melton, Brimbank and Macedon Ranges, the sites of our place-based trials, to participate in the training. Psychologists, counsellors, mental health nurses and social workers from a diverse range of organisations and practice settings were represented in the cohort.
Training started in May with a face-to-face session and concluded with a final teleconference in August.
We are seeking to build the capacity of the clinical workforce to provide evidence-based treatment for people who experience suicidality. Opening this training to both the public and private sector allowed for an increase in the capacity of clinicians across the whole service system, including NWMPHNs commissioned system of care providers.
Feedback from participating clinicians has been extremely positive and we are considering whether further CAMS training can be rolled out throughout the trials.