AVVRG Queensland – Health Education Team’s (Q-HET) aim since 2010 is to work with Nurses, Doctors and Allied Health Staff at Ba Ria Mental Hospital (previously Chau Duc Mental Hospital) a rural hospital in the Ba Ria/Vung Tau Province, approximately 2 hours South East of Ho Chi Minh City. Our specific focus is to enhance skills in mental health nursing practice and education of our hosts, ultimately building their capacity to meet the needs of their clients and the local community.

Our key team member, Deb Nizette has co-authored and edited an Australia, New Zealand mental health nursing text which was translated into Vietnamese in 2014 and we had a small number of books printed and distributed to staff during a visit in February 2014. The text which is used widely in Universities (post graduate and undergraduate programs) in Australia and New Zealand (a UK adaptation has also been published) has been an invaluable adjunct to our work in Vietnam, supporting the development of mental health nursing and patient centred care.

With a move to the new Ba Ria Mental Health Hospital in 2016 and subsequent increase in staff there was a need when we returned in November 2017 to provide new staff with a textbook.

Direct Aid Program (DAP) funds were applied for and we were very fortunate to receive a grant of VND102,500,000.00 (approximately AU$5,600.00) which covered the cost of printing 200 copies of the translated text. The textbooks were printed in Ho Chi Minh City and transported to Ba Ria Mental Health Hospital.

The texts were then distributed to all new staff members during our team visit between 13 – 17 November.  All staff valued the texts and bought them to class each day during education sessions allowing us to refer to specific chapters for further reading.

From a longer term view and lasting developmental effect there are sufficient texts to provide a copy to new staff commencing. This also ensures the provision of a tool for ongoing professional development and learning until our next visit in November 2019.  We believe the provision of this book for staff does provide them with an evidenced based resource that can assist in providing optimum care of the patient and hence better outcomes for the patient and their family after discharge.

We thank the Australian Government and the Department of Foreign Affairs for making these funds available for application.

Valerie Porter

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