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Community-managed Mental Health and AOD Services


The Regional Mental Health Workforce Incentives aim to:

  • Support the attraction, recruitment, and retention of new workers to priority positions across state funded mental health and alcohol and other drug services in rural and regional Victoria.
  • Support individuals and their dependents to move, settle and integrate into rural and regional Victorian communities.
  • The incentives include the following elements:
    Regional mental health workforce incentive grants that will encourage and support mental health workers to relocate, settle and remain in rural and regional areas.
  • Navigator roles that will ensure all new workers are well supported prior to employment, during relocation, settlement and integration into local communities.
  • Support for the promotion of jobs and the broader incentives to attract workers with the appropriate skills from metropolitan areas, interstate, and overseas to rural and regional services across Victoria.

The incentives are supported by a Victorian Government investment of $13.7m over four years.


The Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System highlighted ongoing workforce challenges experienced by rural and regional areas, identifying that these areas struggle to attract and retain mental health workforce across all disciplines.

The Royal Commission recommended the Victorian Government address mental health and wellbeing workforce supply needs in rural and regional areas and establish an incentive scheme to:

a) attract mental health and wellbeing workers to rural and regional mental health and wellbeing services

b) retain mental health and wellbeing workers in such services.

Workforce relocation and incentive grants

The Victorian Government has allocated funds to support rural and regional Community-managed Mental Health and Alcohol and other Drugs (AOD) services to provide incentives to attract workers to roles that are difficult to fill.

Service eligibility

The following service types are eligible to apply for grants:

Rural and Regional state-funded Community Managed Mental Health Services in MMM 2-6

Rural and Regional state-funded Alcohol and other Drugs services in MMM 2 – MMM 6


Grant guidelines  

For more information and to see guidelines for Community-managed Mental Health and AOD services, click here.

Please ensure you read the program guidelines available from here prior to completing this form.

You can also find more information through a series of questions and answers below which might be helpful. 

Yes, if the individual covers the cost themselves, they can submit the receipt(s) for reimbursement from RWAV.

Yes, if the service pays any of the incentive costs, then they can submit the receipt(s) for reimbursement from RWAV.

Yes, the incentives can be used to provide support to meet the needs of people through providing tailored incentives like external cultural support, or  to meet accessibility requirements.

No, Geelong is MMM1, but other areas in the Barwon region are eligible.

No, this is a different kind of incentive not covered by this program.

Incentives grants can be used to pay for training for a local person to develop additional skills required for the role.

It’s a flexible process, services can apply before or after commencing recruitment, and the department will assess the application as quickly as possible.

A grant application to support a student placement for a final year student where they will be moving into an unfilled vacancy upon completion will be considered.

Accommodation in some regional areas is scarce and unfortunately this program cannot influence this. The funding from the grants can be used to pay for temporary accommodation while more permanent accommodation is secured.

Yes, we want to make moving to rural and regional areas more attractive.

Area mental health services have a separate incentives link here This program just applies to community managed mental health services and state-funded AOD services.

If you are recruiting for two of the same roles subject to the same recruitment problems, then yes. Generally, however, one application per role.

Option 1 – apply before recruitment

  • Service prepares to recruit
  • Service is aware of the likelihood of difficulties
  • Services applies for grant in advance to allow advertisement to include ‘incentives may apply’
  • Services negotiates the incentive with preferred recruit.

Option 2 – apply after recruitment

  • Service has finalised recruitment process
  • Preferred recruit needs additional support such as:
    • Relocation costs
    • Clinical or professional supervision
    • Professional development
  • Services applies for grant including details of what grant will pay for
This initiative is supported by the Victorian State Government.

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