A good life is a connected life. Our world is created by our relationship to family and friends, work colleagues, acquaintances and the communities we call home.
When we succeed, we do so with the support of those around us. Every single one of us can succeed, in our own way, with the right support.The reality for many people living with mental illness can be very different. Ask and people will tell you stories of aloneness, of disconnection from family, the loss of friends and exclusion from learning and work opportunities.
Neami supports people to move from exclusion to participation.We involve carers and support networks. We facilitate links into the broader community. We create an environment where people can undertake their own recovery in their own way.The same idea extends to our partnerships with government, service partners, corporate and other supporters, and local communities.
Highlights of the last year
- The growth in our Victorian services means that we now work right across Melbourne and Geelong and will be supporting more than 1,000 additional people by the end of this year.
- We are expanding our services in South Australia with the Crisis Respite Service and the Intensive Home Based Support Service both up and running.
- Our high profile homelessness service Way2Home refunded in inner-Sydney.
- We took our first steps into the Northern Territory with an exciting partnership with Sunrise Health Service working in two remote Aboriginal communities.
- Our expertise in sub-acute services is now well recognised. The employment of clinical staff working in our collaborative recovery framework is one exciting development in this area.
- Nearly all our teams now include staff with lived experience, including our homelessness services. Peer support workers use their professional expertise together with ‘lived expertise’ to assist people to reach their goals.
We are facing an unknown outcome from the National Mental Health Commission’s pending review of mental health services. We hope this new framework will respond to the latest evidence on recovery and the need for community-based support.
It also remains unclear exactly how well the National Disability Insurance Scheme will meet the needs of people living with mental illness. We will see over the next year or so whether it seeks to complement existing support services or to replace them.
The third policy lever of interest is Activity Based Funding, which will impact on the sub-acute services that we operate. For this approach to be effective, funders need to understand the different functions of community-based services compared with inpatient hospital care.
Our Board has approved the 2014-17 Strategic Directions and its first Board Charter. These are important documents that will guide us as we go forward.
We would like to welcome Tony Nippard and Lorraine Powell as new members of the Board and express our sincere appreciation to Julie Anderson and Douglas Holmes for their service in a period where we have had remarkable growth and success.
Thank you for your support and partnership over the last year.
Stephen Brand, President
Arthur Papakotsias, Chief Executive Officer