The Hon Kevin Humphries MP, Minister for Mental Health announced in late 2013 that a staged transition of the NSW Institute of Psychiatry (NSWIOP) into the structure of the Health Education and Training Institute (HETI) would be undertaken over the following three years. The NSWIOP will become the key mental health education portfolio for HETI, enhancing the influence of mental health training and promoting a more holistic approach to health education for the state.

The NSWIOP has had a proud history of providing mental health education and training and its current programs and enrolled students will continue to be supported with no disruptions for students, staff or contractors.

The transition commenced in January 2014 when the administrative and corporate functions and staff of the NSWIOP became employees of HETI, still predominately working from the NSWIOP that is based in the grounds of Cumberland Hospital at North Parramatta. HETI will provide corporate and administrative services back to the NSWIOP to support the delivery of their extensive educational and training program, through a service level agreement.

Rhonda Loftus has been appointed by HETI to the role of Director Corporate Services, Business Improvement and Transition for the next two years. She managed the transfer of corporate functions, positions and staff from the NSWIOP to HETI and the recruitment to vacant positions. These staff will deliver financial, human resources, corporate, communications, marketing, Human Resources and information technology services to the NSWIOP. Rhonda will also take a lead role to progress HETI’s application for higher educational provider status against the Tertiary Educational Quality Standards Agency (TEQSA) accreditation.

HETI had already committed through its Service Compact to extend its accreditation as a lead education and training provider and the expected progress to higher education provider status in 2014 will be an essential next step prior to the later stages of the NSWIOP’s full transition.

The NSWIOP’s transition to HETI will be a key enabler to the State Government’s commitment to improving the physical health of people with mental illness. It will allow mental health to be a full partner in education and training across the health sector and deliver high-quality training and professional development for the mental health workforce.

The planned transition of the NSWIOP to HETI will deliver new opportunities and advantages including:

  • greater flexibility to respond to changing workforce needs
  • opportunities for expansion into other areas such as general practice
  • savings on administrative and infrastructure costs which can be used to support better mental health education.

HETI’s existing strong education relationships and partnerships will support and extend the Institute of Psychiatry’s mission. This transition process will be guided by the NSWIOP Transition Oversight Committee that will be led by the NSW Mental Health Commissioner, Mr John Feneley.

NSWIOP and HETI welcome the opportunity to collaborate and work in conjunction with partners from across the mental health community in the provision of effective, holistic health education and training.

For more information

You can view the fact sheet Strengthening Delivery of Mental Health Education and the Mental Health Commission's Review NSW Institute of Psychiatry which was completed earlier this year. These documents outline the recommendations for the transition of NSWIOP to HETI and the benefits to both organisations and to comprehensive health education.