June 28, 2022

Meet Belinda Scott – Executive Director, Mental Health

The Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System made significant recommendations regarding the way mental health services are organised, integrated and governed, and proposed reforms for north and west metropolitan Melbourne. These reforms will lead to creating a more accessible, responsive and well-resourced mental health service system over the coming months and years.

Northern Health will be a designated Mental Health Service from 1 July 2022 and play a key role in the implementation of these reforms.

On 1 July, we welcome Northern Area Mental Health Services and North West Area Mental Health Services to Northern Health. We will also welcome the staff of Merv Irvine Nursing Home and McLellan House.

Collectively, this will make us the third largest mental health service in Victoria.

Today we speak to Belinda Scott – Executive Director, Mental Health, Northern Health to understand her role and get to know her better.

Belinda, let’s start with your coffee order?
Almond Chai Latte

Tell us about your role as Executive Director, Mental Health and what it entails?

My role is to enable the team to deliver best care to consumers, carers and families through effective advocacy, strategic planning for the future. I also need to ensure key issues are communicated to my executive colleagues and the Northern Health Board.

Tell us what you were doing prior to this role?

I was the Chief Executive of Djerriwarrh health services, I left this role when the health service was amalgamated into Western Health.

What does a typical day look like for you?

My typical day includes many meetings, phone calls and chai.

I can be doing 10 different things in 10 different meetings throughout the day, including discussions about food, workforce, budgets and legal matters. My role covers the breadth of clinical, non-clinical and support service delivery.

What excites you about your role?

What excites me are the challenges and the opportunity to be involved in the reform of the service system for consumers experiencing mental ill health and their families and carers. It is an inaugural appointment. I am also thrilled at the opportunity to lead an amazing team to improve outcomes for consumer, carers and families.

Speaking of challenges, what are some of the challenges of this role?

Workforce planning is a challenge, staff fatigue and feeling safe at work is a challenge. The increasing incidence of mental ill health and and demand on services in the north.  

Lastly, what would people be most surprised to know about you?

I have 24 and 22 year-old daughters. I am also allergic to chocolate.

Belinda’s Family: From left to right, Aidan, Ron (her dad), Erin, Dene (mum) and Cait.