From the CEO

March 2024

From the CEO

Hello everyone.

2024 is well on its way.

I am excited to share that we will once again be hosting our annual Symposium during Schizophrenia Awareness Week. 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. Early Bird tickets are now on sale here and I look forward to seeing you there.

International Women’s Day on 8 March is a celebration of the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. It acknowledges the successes of women over the years whilst also bringing attention to the systemic issues they still face on the path to equality. The Bloom Project, funded by the International Women’s Day Committee in Illawarra, is a critical resource for women in the community to come together and start healing from their experiences of domestic and family violence. I would like to thank the International Women’s Day Committee for extending this funding to allow us to double the amount of people we can support, and for all their tireless and important work. You can hear some of the personal reflections about the program here –

I would also like to bid a fond farewell and extend my deepest gratitude to two incredible members of our One Door Mental Health Illawarra Committee, Janine Cullen and Robyn Rasa, for their many years of boundless passion, advocacy, leadership and support as part of the Illawarra Clubhouse Committee. Janine and Robyn, as you embark on new adventures, know that your legacy will continue to inspire us all. Your contributions to the Illawarra community have been vast, and we cannot thank you enough.

On Thursday 21 March, Harmony House is hosting a free Harmony Day event from 10:00 am – 1:00 pm to celebrate Australia’s rich cultural diversity, inclusiveness, respect and a sense of belonging for everyone. I invite you to come along, wear something orange and share your stories.

One Door will be attending the upcoming The Rotary Club of Camden Mental Health Forum and Expo at the Camden Civic Centre on Saturday 23 March, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. This event aims to destigmatize mental illness, provide information and increase awareness about mental health, and help build capacity within the community to give and receive help. This event is free to the community, however registration is encouraged to secure a seat at the guest speaker sessions.

Earlier in February, key health professionals, clinicians, support workers, community leaders and service providers, including The Hon. Rose Jackson, MLC, came together for a Mental Health Forum in Griffith. During the event, One Door’s Daniela Thoner, Carer Advocate at Griffith's Family and Carers Mental Health Program, highlighted concerns like reduced investment in mental health services, high suicide rates, and unaddressed mental illnesses. She stressed the pivotal role of emergency services in crisis intervention and emphasized the need for a dedicated Mental Health Ward at Griffith Base Hospital to support individuals and carers effectively. Her reflections were well received, and I will be continuing the conversation with Minister Jackson personally in the coming weeks.

Mental Health Australia and the National Mental Health Consumer and Carer Forum have developed a paper to advise governments on evidence-informed and good practice psychosocial services. This paper is intended to help form policy discussions and decisions on the design and commissioning of psychosocial support outside the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). I look forward to seeing the results of the Government’s analysis of the current unmet needs of for psychosocial support outside the NDIS, expected to be completed by March 2024. Read more here.

And finally, the 2024 calendar for the “Staying Connected When Emotions Run High” workshops for families, carers, friends and professionals is now available here.