Initiatives in focus – GOTAFE

GOTAFE’s innovative approach to student placement

During the COVID-19 pandemic, GOTAFE ran a project that placed Certificate IV in Mental Health students in aged care residential facilities.

GOTAFE designed a proposal that mapped recovery-orientated principles, which are fundamental to the Certificate IV in Mental Health placement requirements, to the placement project. A strong emphasis on person-centred care, which prioritises individual autonomy and empowerment and is followed when caring for a person living with dementia, aligned directly with the mental health recovery orientated approach.

As part of the project, and to prepare GOTAFE students to work in a dementia-specific ward, students undertook free micro courses on dementia. Student feedback was that the courses aligned well with their current mental health studies.

Usually, GOTAFE’s Certificate IV in Mental Health students are placed in alcohol or other drugs or residential mental health facilities. This project placed students in a less intense setting, which, in some cases, better suited the student’s capability and preference.

There are many benefits in placing a Certificate IV in Mental Health student in an aged care dementia setting, not only for the student’s professional development but also for the person living with dementia.