Scholarships to empower Canberrans with a mental illness

Shane Rattenbury, MLA

A ground-breaking Mental Health Scholarship scheme at the Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT) sees Canberrans experiencing a mental illness gain nationally recognised qualifications.

As the Scheme enters its eighth consecutive year, Minister for Mental Health Shane Rattenbury said the scholarship program sees more mental health consumers to strengthen their employment opportunities in the community sector.

“Canberrans with a lived experience of mental illness have immense value to offer to our community and the Mental Health Scholarship scheme is helping to unlock that potential,” Minister Rattenbury said.

“This has been an enduring partnership between ACT Health, the ACT Mental Health Consumer Network and CIT that began in 2011 and continues to achieve great results.

“Eighty one Canberrans have successfully completed the Statement of Attainment in Introductory Mental Health and Alcohol and Other Drugs at CIT to date. The vast majority of these graduates have continued their studies with a Certificate IV in Community Work Programs and we continue to see an increase of graduates each year as awareness of the scholarship grows.”

There are approximately 25 scholarships available at CIT through the scheme, which is valid for two years and runs at the CIT Bruce campus. In 2017-2018, ACT Health is providing $38,406 of course funding and tuition fees to the CIT to administer the program.

CIT Chief Executive Officer Leanne Cover said the Mental Health Scholarship initiative allows individuals who have experienced a mental health condition or issue the opportunity to return into the workforce.

“It’s all about reinforcing these individuals’ self-esteem to undertake a course at CIT and ultimately increase their employment opportunities,” Ms Cover said.

“The scheme adopts a two staged approach that supports mental health consumers to gain nationally recognised qualifications in community services.”

Further information

The scholarship scheme is available to people who are 17 years or older, have a mental illness or mental disorder, live in the ACT and would like the opportunity to undertake studies at CIT Health, Community and Science in the Department of Community Work.

After the students complete these units they gain a Statement of Attainment and are eligible to continue their studies in any of the following Certificate IV courses under the consumer scholarship scheme: Mental Health, Alcohol and Other Drugs, Community Development, Youth Work and Community Services Work.

More information and applications forms are available on the CIT website: