Get a leg up on your dream community services job by studying with the best in the industry

Industry partnerships can help you get a foot in the door even before you've graduated.

There are many different paths to a dream job. Networking, following the company’s research, tracking the careers of its current employees, applying for every posting – basically doing everything possible to get your face in front of the right people. But what if, before any of that, you could study coursework designed by your ideal future employer?

To give graduates a head start on their career goals, the University of Melbourne has paired with some of the country’s leading mental health organisations to create courses specifically tailored to the needs and demands of the industry.

Awareness of mental health – especially youth mental health – is growing exponentially in Australia. From increased public discourse by celebrities and leaders, to films and TV shows giving voice to once-suppressed issues, to events like World Mental Health Day, this surge in visibility is leading to new practises, new approaches and a flurry of new ideas on how to tackle the multifaceted and complicated crisis.

Most mental health disorders develop before a person hits their mid-20s, and one in five young people will have experienced a depressive episode by the time they turn 18, according to Orygen, a non-profit, global-leading research and education organisation that pioneers new, positive approaches to the prevention and treatment of mental disorders in young people.

Experts from Orygen have partnered with the University of Melbourne to design the Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma and Master of Youth Mental Health, Australia’s only graduate program dedicated to youth mental health. As the only course of its kind, the field’s top experts and educators have been able to come together to focus all their attentions on this cohort.

To succeed, “one needs to learn the most recent kind of evidence-based theories surrounding young people and mental illness, [and] the best practice interventions and approaches,” says Paul Badcock, senior lecturer in the Youth Mental Health program. “Orygen is the world's peak body in youth mental health. All of our content has been developed by leading experts from all over the world.”

Students across the University of Melbourne’s community and social services department all have access to the latest theory, research and evidence-based approaches in many specialised and rapidly-evolving areas of mental health, including the roads less travelled.

For instance, the Specialist Certificate in Creativity and Health explores the proven impacts that art and performance can have on physical and mental health.

Designed in partnership with the Starlight Children’s Foundation, mental health professionals provide students with both foundational skills and a broad understanding of how practices based on positive psychology and total care can improve the effectiveness of traditional medical treatments.

This is an area of community services that’s been growing alongside the medical industry since the not-for-profit organisation was founded in 1988. By learning from experts who have been helping to improve the lives of seriously ill children and their families for decades, and are still at the forefront of the field today, graduates will enter the industry with confidence.

Similarly, graduates of the Youth Mental Health program will have the opportunities to move directly into the workforce, through clinical placements with Orygen and networking with the best in the business.

If you know where you want your mental health or community services career to go, or even if you only know you want a change, learning from expert educators (and potential future employers) who are leading the latest research and are placed at the heads of their industries can help you get ahead.

Explore our community services courses