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As I have mentioned in past newsletters, we are going through a very difficult and indeed chaotic time with the roll out of the NDIS. This continues. One Door has had a string of redundancies forced on us by the reduced funding for federal programs such as Personal Helpers and Mentors, Day to Day Living, Respite and ONFIRE. We have lost some committed and valuable members of staff as a consequence. At the same time we have ramped up our advocacy and attended many meetings with federal Ministers, Ministerial staffers, Shadow Ministers, federal politicians with our national body, the Mental Illness Fellowship of Australia and we have had meetings with NSW politicians.
I am pleased to say that we are having an impact. Following a round of meetings about four weeks ago, the first real changes to funding and what will happen in 2018-19 have come, and they are a good start. As always there is more to be done.
On a very positive note we have received confirmation from the NSW Minister for Mental Health, Tanya Davies, that they will be donating to the Wellness Walk this year. I would encourage everyone to sign up for this year’s walk as there could be a very high profile surprise guest. With the additional support of some great NRL ambassadors and musicians getting on board, it will be another great day.
We have also been kept very busy preparing for the roll out of our new and continuing Disability Employment Services and our five new Employment Support Services. We are mental health specialists in these programs. We know that the great majority of people with a mental illness and/or a psychiatric disability want to work, and we are determined to do what we can to make sure this desire is fulfilled.
In the next newsletter I should be in a position to report on a merger with us. This has been in discussion for some time and we are nearing the finish post. The organisation merging with us has a very proud history and together we will have a greater regional impact.
Rob Ramjan AM | CEO
Rob Ramjan - CEO, One Door Mental Health