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Frequently asked questions 

 

 
I want to do a placement outside mental health. Can you help me?
No, unfortunately the POST Program is unable to provide placements outside the field of mental health.

 

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I am seeking employment in Australia. Can you help me?
No. The POST Program aims to build mental health workforce capacity in low-resource countries. As such, a key element of the program is that clinicians undertaking POST placements return to their country of origin to implement new skills and projects. 

 

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Are all applications to the POST Program automatically accepted?
No. Each application is considered by the POST Program Selection Committee. The Committee will consider the quality of the application, whether or not the applicant's learning goals can be met by the program and whether the subspeciality area requested has adequate supervision available. The Committee may approve a placement for a different length of time to that requested if they consider the POST Fellow's learning goals require more or less time.

 

If the Committee approves the POST application, the applicant will be sent a formal letter of offer and an acceptance agreement.

 

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Does the POST Program offer group placements?
The majority of POST placements are organised for individuals. However, group placements (maximum of four people) have been facilitated in the past. The availability of group placements depends on the timing and subspeciality option being requested. As group placements are more logistically complex to organise, they are not offered routinely. Therefore, if you are considering the POST Program for a group of staff, please contact the POST Program Administrator before applying to determine whether your request will be possible. 

 

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What can I expect during my POST placement?
As a POST Fellow, you will be offered an Honorary (unpaid) position as a Fellow in the Department of Psychiatry, University of Melbourne. A typical POST placement involves being attached to a mental health professional in your requested subspeciality area. You can observe and discuss all aspects of their daily clinical and non-clinical activities (e.g. home visits, clinic visits, clinical review meetings, team meetings, research events etc). There is also an academic program within the Department of Psychiatry that you are welcome to attend. This involves lunch-time seminars and journal clubs twice weekly during University semesters.

 

Within each subspeciality area, the POST Program aims to provide you with a range of experiences. For example, if you are specialising in Community Psychiatry, you will have the opportunity to spend time with each of the different teams involved in community mental health service delivery (e.g. Crisis Assessment and Treatment Team, Mobile Support and Treatment Team, Community Care Unit, Continuing Care Team, Homeless Outreach Psychiatric Service). Visits to other mental health services or non-government organisations may also be arranged for you where appropriate. 

 
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How long should my POST placement be?
If you want to gain a basic overview of your subspeciality option, a duration of about 4 weeks is recommended. However, the length of a POST placement is negotiable and may vary according to your individual learning needs. In the past, we have facilitated placements from 2 weeks to 12 months. If you are intending to come for longer than 4 weeks, we would also recommend you have a self-directed project you can use as a focus for your placement.

 

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Will I be able to do my POST placement on my requested dates?
Where possible, we will attempt to accommodate your preferred dates. However, our ability to do this depends upon the level of demand upon clinicians in the mental health services and the number of POST Fellows already coming at that time. If we are unable to accommodate your request, we will try to negotiate an alternative time frame that is mutually agreeable.

 

It is important to note that we require 3 months from the date of application to organise a POST placement. If we are given less notice than this, it may be very difficult to accommodate your request.

 

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How much will my POST placement cost?
The training fee for a POST placement is available upon request. The training fee covers your clinical placement only and will vary according to the type and length of your training. In addition to the training fee, other costs that you will need to cover are: accommodation (from AUD$350–$700/week); transport (from AUD$30/week); and daily living expenses (from AUD$200–$300/week).

 

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Where can I stay during my POST placement?
With the exception of Scholarship holders, POST Fellows are responsible for organising their own accommodation. Although there is no accommodation available on the hospital grounds, there are several long-term accommodation options close by. We are able to provide a list of suggested accommodation options (e.g. university accommodation, serviced apartments) on request.

 

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Where will my POST placement be located?
As part of the Department of Psychiatry, University of Melbourne, the International Unit organises placements in mental health services affiliated with the University. These include St Vincent's Mental Health, NorthWestern Mental Health, Austin Health, Royal Children's Hospital Mental Health Service and the Melbourne Clinic. Where you are based will depend on your requested area of subspeciality, learning goals and the availability of staff in different mental health services to supervise you.

 

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Is my level of English fluency important for my POST placement?
Yes, this is essential. The POST Program is conducted entirely in English. Therefore, for maximum benefit you need to have sufficient English to both understand and express yourself in discussions about clinically complex concepts and issues. In some circumstances (e.g. if you have not undertaken any university-level training in English) we may request details of IELTS or TOEFL tests to ensure that your English level is adequate to meet your learning needs.

 

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Will I require a visa to undertake my POST placement?
Yes, the offer of a POST placement is subject to you obtaining a visa in the appropriate visa subclass (e.g. short stay business visa) so that you are allowed to stay in Australia for the duration of your study visit. Other requirements of the Australian Immigration Department must also be met where requested (e.g. medical assessments). In addition, criminal record checks are also required for all POST placements.

 

41 Victoria Parade, Fitzroy VIC 3065, Australia. Phone: (03) 9288 2211