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COMMUNITY support provider Edmen Group is turning to new ways to source the highly-skilled workers it needs to help clients who suffer from mental illness. The workforce employed by its Community Staffing Solutions arm has increased by about 25 per cent in the past two months.
It is targeting nursing students to train specifically for the mental health and disability sector and encouraging nurses and aged-care workers to consider work in the field. Edmen client-relationship manager Adam Kumcevski says community support workers provide day-today care to people with a mental illness. It may involve developing their interpersonal skills – such as empowering the client or helping them with communication or interacting with the community – or helping them with basic personal care, such as showering and other personal hygiene. More complex health care, such as working with medication or dealing with people with personality disorders, requires additional skills and training. ‘‘We have had to be very dynamic with our approach in recruiting,’’ Kumcevski says. ‘‘We’re working with nursing students at Flinders University and other universities, getting them to use their skills (in mental health) but also putting them through a A community support worker provides low, medium and high-level support for clients who suffer from health issues. They often work a few hours a day or week in a client’s home performing day-to-day duties for the client. Workers provide physical as well as emotional support to their client. Certificate III in Disabilities and providing them with other training.
‘‘It’s not possible to find a disability support worker who has that experience.
‘‘We’re being a bit broad and looking for workers with an aged-care background or nursing background.’’ Edmen operates in Queensland, Victoria, New South Wales and recently set up in South Australia. Its community support staff work with people of all ages with physical and intellectual disabilities as well as mental health issues. ‘‘The type of services we support include accommodation, group homes, residential services with in-home support,’’ Kumcevski says.