Mental health workforce trainers were among the first in the State to take part in the new Safewards training program last month.

The program, adapted from the United Kingdom, aims to create safe and caring working environments for people with mental illness and staff.

VMIA is funding the $2.4 million harm reduction in partnership with the Department of Health and Human Services.

The program will be rolled out in 58 Victorian mental health units initially, with a second phase expected to include emergency departments and acute medical units.

Its roll-out follows a successful pilot in 2016 across 18 Victorian inpatient units, which reported a downward trend in seclusion episodes and up to 50% of staff reporting feeling safer in the workplace after its introduction.

Select link for more information about the Safewards program.