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We are entering a new financial year and doing so in a positive and determined way. As I have noted in past newsletters, the NDIS has caused many difficulties, for consumers, for carers and for non-government mental health organisations. Funding has been withdrawn from existing federally funded programs at a much faster rate than the NDIA were “processing” applications for people with a psychiatric disability.
To address these issues One Door has had to reduce the number of paid workers in a number of those programs which has been painful for all involved as we lost some very good staff members. We have established a dedicated NDIS management team with a General Manager and four NDIS Business Managers. We have trained our workers as best as possible in an environment where the rules seem to change regularly. We have modeled what we need to do, to be able to continue to provide quality caring services for people under this new and ever developing model that is the NDIS.
This morning I received a letter from the federal Minister for Social Services, Dan Tehan which also gives some comfit. The Minister says, “I am writing to offer my assurance that the Government will continue your funding at a level which is adequate to support your clients in their transition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme”.
On a very positive note, One Door was successful with the tender to provide Disability Employment Services (DES) and Employment Support Services (ESS). We commenced on July 1 this year with five DES and five ESS programs. These new services are located in Northern Sydney, the Inner West, Port Macquarie, and Wollongong and Shoalhaven areas. We know that most people with a mental illness want to work, and that work is actually therapeutic. We are committed to making these programs work for everyone.
Finally, I would note that there are a string of important events on the horizon. The Wellness Walk across the Sydney Harbour Bridge in October, the Australian Psychosis Conference in September, the Annual General Meeting in November and the Art Competition which includes the Dorothy Portrait Prize, the Frank Walker Prize and the Alan Hearn Encouragement Prize to be held in November/December. I hope to see you at one or all of these events.
Rob Ramjan AM | CEO
Rob Ramjan - CEO, One Door Mental Health