From the CEO

April 2024

From the CEO

Hello everyone.

I hope you and your loved ones are keeping safe and well. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend quite a few in-person events in March as I tested positive for Covid. Thankfully, my family and I are now recovering, and I appreciate all those who sent well-wishes.

One such event was the International Women’s Day luncheon in Illawarra on 8 March, organised by The International Women’s Day Illawarra Committee. The keynote speaker was Dr. Gill Hicks AM MBE, who spoke of her life experiences, particularly surviving the 2005 London bombings. As a peace activist, her message was about love and trust in humanity, what unites us and connects us. Frances Cracknell, People and Culture Lead at One Door, highlighted the impressive up and coming award winning women and their impactful community work and initiatives. She said “it was uplifting to see so many young and articulate people with great initiatives, including our own Natalie Krkovska for leading the Bloom Project. I look forward to attending the event next year.”

A reminder that Early Bird tickets for our annual Symposium during Schizophrenia Awareness Week closes shortly. This one-day event held at Novotel Parramatta on 22 May 2024, will bring together some of the leading researchers, advocates, industry leaders, and people we support to share the latest insights into mental health. Our speakers start with the Hon. Rose Jackson, Minister for Mental Health, Carolyn Nikoloski, CEO of Mental Health Australia, Katie Larson, Executive Director, Lived Experience at Mind Australia, and Prof Jen Smith-Merry, Director of the Centre for Disability Research and Policy - University of Sydney. Other great speakers will also be present! I hope to see you there.

I am pleased to share that our new Service Navigator program is up and running, facilitating connections between individuals and local services with the aim to enhancing their overall wellbeing and mental health recovery. The program takes a proactive approach to connecting and supporting people, along with a commitment to improving service delivery and outcomes through effective teamwork, advocacy, and collaboration with a range of services and stakeholders. The program is focused on delivering support to individuals with psychosocial disabilities, their carers and families, as well as GPs and those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, within the South Western Sydney Primary Health Network area. Read more here.

At One Door Mental Health, we emphasise the importance of psychosocial services in mental health care. We have been a primary provider of Commonwealth Psychosocial Services in NSW. These services offer personalised community-based support, reducing hospitalisations and aiding recovery. We applaud all governments for addressing the gap in services beyond the NDIS and support the integration of targeted supports into the National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Agreement. We advocate for meaningful involvement of people with lived experience in service design and implementation. This includes establishing an advisory group and conducting thorough consultations with stakeholders. Ongoing monitoring by those affected ensures that services remain effective and inclusive.

In March, our Board of Directors held a 2-day workshop in Victoria. It is encouraging to see that we are all working together towards our shared vision to enhance the mental health and wellbeing of people, families and communities across Australia. This includes the exciting expansion of the Haven Foundation footprint, with 3 proposed specialised mental health housing for people with complex mental health challenges in NSW. There is also a reinforced commitment to being sector leaders with lived experience at the forefront of all our practice.

One Door is piloting a web series to talk all things mental health. Led by Dr Richard Schweizer, our pilot episode on 16 April will welcome Niels Buus, Andrea McCloughen and Sarah Farrell-Whelan from Open Dialogue Centre. We are also looking forward to integrating the Open Dialogue approach to our Head to Health centre in the near future. Additionally, I am excited to be speaking on a panel at the Open Dialogue Centre’s inaugural conference on 27-28 May 2024. Themed Shaping the Future of Mental Health and Early Intervention, this event aims to bring together the experience of people with lived experience, mental health and wellbeing settings, and I am looking forward to both attending and participating.

Until next time …