Increasing the occupational therapy mental health workforce through innovative practice education: A pilot project

Sylvia Rodger, Yvonne Thomas, Sue Holley, Elizabeth Springfield, Ann Edwards, Jacqui Broadbridge, Craig GREBER, Cathy McBryde, Rebecca Banks, Rachel Hawkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: This paper describes the evaluation of a pilot trial of two innovative placement models in the area of mental health, namely role emerging and collaborative supervision. The Queensland Occupational Therapy Fieldwork Collaborative conducted this trial in response to workforce shortages in mental health. Method: Six occupational therapy students and eight practice educators were surveyed pre‐ and post‐placements regarding implementation of these innovative models. Results: Students participating in these placements reported that they were highly likely to work in mental health upon graduation, and practice educators were positive about undertaking innovative placements in future. An overview of the placement sites, trials, outcomes and limitations of this pilot trial is provided. Conclusion: Though limited by its small sample size, this pilot trial has demonstrated the potential of innovative placement models to provide valuable student learning experiences in mental health. The profession needs to develop expertise in the use of innovative placement models if students are to be adequately prepared to work with the mental health issues of the Australian community now and in the future.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)409-417
Number of pages9
JournalAustralian Occupational Therapy Journal
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


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