An end of an era; New CCU in Cairns; Changes in SA; TheMHS 2015; Supporting health conversations
The latest Clear Thinking

Bev talks about recovery'I improved my health. I reduced all the rubbish. [My goals are] to be healthier and physical again' Bev's story of recovery

In this issue of Clear Thinking

It is with considerable sadness that we said goodbye to Neami's flagship arts program, Splash Arts Studio, at the end of June.

In partnership with Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service (CHHS) Neami will be providing a new Community Care Unit in Cairns.

2015 has so far been a year of changes in our South Australian services with some services finishing up their work and others just beginning. 

Neami will be a Gold Sponsor of the TheMHS Conference in Canberra from 25-28 August 2015.

In order to better understand the impact of the Neami Health Prompt we spoke to staff and consumers from around the country about their experiences.

Along with all the great career opportunities on our website we have two new leadership positions in NSW now available

Arthur Papakotsias
CEO, Neami National

 Kevin Sleeth - no quarter (detail)Kevin Sleeth - no quarter (detail)

End of an era - Farewell to Splash Arts Studio

It is with considerable sadness that we said goodbye to Neami's flagship arts program, Splash Arts Studio, at the end of June.

The opening night of their final exhibition, Ripple, drew a large crowd of Splash artists and former artists, art lovers, Neami staff, partners and well-wishers.

Splash used artistic practice to open doors for people over a period of nearly 20 years. It provided a sense of creative expression, confidence and professional accomplishment that supported recovery and helped to show people what might be possible in their lives.

Thank you to Splash's passionate staff team and the thousands of artists who have been part of the Splash story over the years.

Artistic practice remains important for many consumers and we will continue to find and facilitate opportunities to explore the creative side of recovery.

The new Cairns CCU service

Neami to deliver new Community Care Unit model in Cairns

Having provided services in Queensland since 2009 it is a significant milestone that Neami has been successful in its bid to deliver a new Community Care Unit (CCU) model in Cairns.  This exciting new service will be provided in partnership with Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service (CHHS).  

In developing the program the CHHS recognised heightened community expectations for access to a wide range of support options and prioritised securing an innovative service model for the Cairns region. 

The model has three components, which include:

  • A 20 bed residential rehabilitation facility which will support consumers to reintegrate back into their community across a period of six months to two years. 
  • A community outreach service that will support consumers exiting the residential facility and transitioning back into community living for a period of up to 1 - 2 years as required.
  • A day programme, which will function to foster a sense of belonging to the community, provide peer support and an provide an environment where a range of social and daily living skills can be learnt for both residents of the CCU and other mental health consumers in Cairns.

It is anticipated that the service will be operational before the end of the year and we are currently working with Queensland Health to establish a timeline to achieve this.

This new service builds on the excellent work already done by the Strathpine, Darra and PIR teams in Queensland. The CCU will make use of our experience and strong reputation for delivering of sub-acute services across Australia in regional and metropolitan areas. 

This is the first time in Queensland that a community mental health service will be fully contracted as the provider of a Community Care Unit. We look forward to this exciting opportunity to demonstrate the calibre of our work in supporting the Cairns community.   


Changes in South Australia

2015 has so far been a year of changes in our South Australian services with some services finishing up their work and others just beginning. The biggest changes have occurred in the Individual Psychosocial Rehabilitation and Support Service where a major re-tendering took place earlier this year.

We were successful in retaining our community outreach services in Northern Adelaide and Southern SA, and picked up new services in Central SA while losing our services in Central Adelaide. We are incredibly proud of the consumer outcomes we support and will continue to grow our services as opportunities arise.

Recently we have also been nominated as the new lead agency for Central Adelaide and Hills Partners in Recovery following the decision to transition from Medicare Locals to Primary Health Networks. This is an endorsement of our partnerships approach and we look forward to continuing effective PIR services for the remaining 12 months of the funding period. Read more online

Another flagship service in South Australia, the Crisis Respite Service, is fulfilling its mission to become more locally responsive by relocating from its location at Highgate Park to smaller locations closer to where people live. Two of these have now opened in Morphett Vale and Parafield Gardens. Find Crisis Respite services online

Finally, we were very disappointed to see an end to one of Australia's most successful preventative mental health services, the Intensive Home Based Support Service (IHBSS), with neither federal nor state government resources available the at the expiry of the current funding. An independent evaluation of IHBSS by the University of New South Wales found that it was succeeding in reducing trauma to individuals, had drastically cut the amount of time people stay in hospital, and was even on the way to becoming cost neutral in terms of its impact on the health budget.

We would like to see a model like this funded again in South Australia as well as elsewhere across the country.

Media release about the SA changes

TheMHS Conference - Celebrating 25 years

Translating best practice into reality – TheMHS 2015

Neami will be a Gold Sponsor of the TheMHS Conference in Canberra from 25-28 August 2015.The theme of the conference is 'Translating best practice into reality'.

A strength of TheMHS Learning Network has always been its diversity and willingness to embrace all groups across the Australiasian mental health sector.

Our Chairperson Stephen Brand said sponsorship is a practical way for Neami to support the mental health sector’s most important research gathering.

‘Every year Neami National participates in TheMHS by presenting our own research and by engaging with the latest evidence and most innovative thinkers in mental health’.

‘By becoming a sponsor we want to support TheMHS to grow and develop and to continue to run significant conferences and learning events as it has been doing for a quarter of a century'.

Visit the Neami booth at TheMHS 2015 and continue to check in at as we continue to develop an online home for our research and evaluation publications.

Visit TheMHS Website

Parts of the Health prompt

Reviewing the Neami Health Prompt

“The Health Prompt raised my awareness and was a motivating factor in choosing to change my lifestyle” – Consumer comment

The Neami Health Prompt is a physical health screening resource developed by Neami National in response to the physical health needs of individuals accessing Neami services.

In 2012 the Health Prompt Initiative was implemented across Neami to support health conversations between staff and consumers.

In order to better understand the impact of the Health Prompt we spoke to staff and consumers from around the country about their experiences.

We have summarised the outcomes into a series of easy to read flyers with the first4 available online or read the full report


Career opportunities: NSW Regional Managers x 2

NSW Regional Managers have responsibility of the operations of services and be the source of knowledge and expertise to the leadership team on home based mental health care.

These two positions will focus on the Sydney Metro and Wollongong area and the Newcastle, Hunter and Central Coast areas respectively.

The positions will promote Neami’s vision, mission and values, allocation of services and developing new business opportunities.

Read more and apply online

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