Improving Mental Health and well being
Improving Mental Health and well being

Annual Report


We acknowledge Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities as the Traditional Custodians of the land we work on and pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging. We recognise that their sovereignty was never ceded and the impact of structural inequality that resulted from invasion continues to this day.

Neami is committed to cultivating inclusive environments for staff, consumers and carers. We celebrate, value and include people of all backgrounds, genders, sexualities, cultures, bodies and abilities. We believe our commitment to diversity and inclusion makes our teams, services and organisation stronger and more effective.

Access this information in different ways

Neami National is committed to providing accessible services to people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

If you have difficulty understanding this report, phone us on 03 8691 5300, and we will arrange an interpreter or translation for this publication.



This report provides a view of our work over the 2018-19 financial year. We’re sharing a selection of achievements, insights and also stories from people who use Neami services.

Thank you to the consumers, staff, partner organisations and others who have contributed to this report. By working together, we amplify what is possible.

Tom Dalton



Chair and CEO Report

We’ve ensured that lived experience, co-design and data-informed decisions remain at the forefront of Neami’s work.

Tom Dalton


Neami is well supported by a skilled National Leadership Team and Board of Directors who have provided continuity and a vision for the future

Sonia Law


Chair and CEO Report

01. Overview

Board of Directors

The Board of Directors has an overriding responsibility to ensure that Neami is appropriately managed for the benefit of all stakeholders.

Sonia Law
Chair - Neami
Brad Wynter
Deputy Chair - Neami, Chair - Me Well
Graeme Doidge
Tony Nippard
Lorraine Powell
Fiona Nicholls
Ruth Faulkner
Jacinta Carboon
Silvio Pontonio
James Meares

Our services

More than 9000 people received support from Neami across four key domains.

Community Mental Health

Community-based mental health services support people to meet needs ranging from emerging through to severe and complex.

Psychosocial support

In New South Wales, HASI services provided 172,911 hours of support to 519 consumers, with the average length of service just under 12 months.

Wellbeing Coaching

Steps to Wellbeing delivered 1292 coaching sessions in Eastern Melbourne with 60% face-to-face, 37% over the phone, and 3% via video call.


Me Well NDIS support coordinators worked with 1530 customers to ensure the right support was available and enable them to get the best value from their NDIS plan.

Recovery-oriented clinical support

Links to Wellbeing clinicians provided more than 3500 psychological therapy sessions for people with moderate, complex or chronic mental health issues across Southern and Central Adelaide.

Intake and navigation

In Northern Queensland, Connect to Wellbeing eliminated the 6-month waitlist to connect people with local mental health support.

Residential Mental Health

Providing people with a safe and supportive place to stay helps to prevent hospital admissions and supports the transition home following acute care.

Step up Step down

68% of people staying at the Joondalup Mental Health Step up Step down service ‘stepped-up’ to help avoid hospital, while 32% ‘stepped-down’ from acute care.

Residential Rehabilitation

38 young people had a place to live at our Youth Residential Rehabilitation services while they worked on improving their mental health and wellbeing.

Housing and Homelessness

Multi-disciplinary outreach teams, and comprehensive, wrap-around support, help people to find a place to live and make a home.

Street outreach

A data-informed approach enabled Way2Home to target engagement with people sleeping rough in Sydney, leading to 482 new people registering for support through the service.


Street to Home supported 116 people sleeping rough in the Adelaide CBD to find housing, with 87% of people remaining housed after 12 months.

Wrap-around support

19 Aboriginal people were supported by Wadamba Wilam in Melbourne to sustain their tenancy for more than 12 months.

Suicide Prevention

Targeted interventions help individuals, local communities and other services to improve understanding and to respond appropriately following a suicide attempt or suicidal crisis.


SPconnect worked with staff from three Sydney hospitals to connect 285 people to community-based support following a suicide attempt or suicidal crisis.

Coordination and education

Perth Metro Suicide Prevention Coordinators delivered 363 education and training events to improve community capacity. Over 2000 people attended.

Across Australia

Our services provide support and strengthen local communities.


Our experience and innovative thinking inform how local services meet the growing need for people to get the right support.

Karen Thomas


Queensland State Report

New South Wales

We work with government, partners and the community to reach more people and provide the support that best matches people’s needs.

Peter Gianfrancesco

New South Wales State Manager

New South Wales State Report

South Australia

We are excited by opportunities to demonstrate our strengths and to provide high-quality services.

Kim Holmes

South Australian State Manager

South Australian State Report

Western Australia

Across our services we got on with the job of supporting people to live well and work towards their goals. Together, we’re building healthy communities.

Kim Holmes

Acting, Western Australian State Manager

Western Australian State Report


While it has been a challenging year, we have seen opportunities for renewal in Victoria with new services that reflect Neami’s understanding of complexity.

Glen Tobias

Victorian State Manager

Victorian State Report

Me Well

We have taken the time to assess our service offering and invest in our capacity to operate as a national, sustainable business while getting on with supporting customers.

Fred Van Steel

CEO Me Well

Me Well Report

Financial position

Neami has maintained a record of sound financial management. We achieve this through clearly defined processes and robust management infrastructure.

Translating knowledge into better outcomes

In 2018-19, we ran 4 internal research projects and contributed to 15 external projects with 8 universities and 12 community and government partners.

Completed projects in 2018-19

Outcomes of an Australian Individual Placement and Support (IPS) Service

The research determined that 49.5% of people seeking work through WorkWell gained competitive employment and 64% achieved a vocationally relevant outcome. The WorkWell program showed promise in sustaining employment beyond 13 weeks.

Lived experience workforce in homelessness services

Research exploring the lived experience workforce in homelessness services identified that there are substantial benefits to employing people with lived experience of homelessness within homelessness outreach work.

Neami Health Literacy Project

The research found that people with mental illness have lower health literacy than the general population highlighting the need for individualised approaches to enhance specific health literacy knowledge.

My Health Prompt evaluation

The research found that consumers preferred to use the My Health Prompt App alongside face-to-face communication with staff to improve their health literacy, reduce barriers to action, and self-manage their physical health.

02. Support to meet consumers' needs.

We continued to ask consumers what is most important to them and tailor our services to help overcome barriers to health, wellbeing and social inclusion.

Reduction of distress

People who use our residential services consistently reported a decrease in distress over the period of their stay.

Source: Neami Step up Step down - Consumer data 2018-19

Working with the team to be able to calm everything down and to have that bit of relief. It's tough to stay still and not have my mind racing, but I was able to implement a lot of what I was taught.


Tyson's story

Managing daily life

Strengthening the connection people have with their communities following a suicide attempt helps people manage their day-to-day life to prevent subsequent attempts.

Source: SPconnect - Your Experience of Service survey

I don't connect a lot with people, and that's probably because of past issues. Anna helped me connect with other support, even saying “let's do this together”. It was the help I needed at that stage.


Janette's story

Meaningful activity

Participating in activities such as employment and education supports recovery, builds confidence and increases social inclusion.

Source: WorkWell - areas of engagement

It took a lot of the pressure off. It was good to get support around things like accommodation and my job search. It was transformational because at the time, I was unemployed and homeless, and it was good to be able to change all that.


Rob's story

Improved physical health

Increasing health literacy and connecting with medical services improves health outcomes for people experiencing homelessness.

We talk about our health, talk about everything. I get myself to the doctors now, I make sure I take my medication and get my blood tests done every fortnight.


Darryle's story

03. Extending our impact

We amplified our impact by working with organisations that offer complementary skills and experience.

Making homefulness a real option

Multi-disciplinary teams provide wrap-around support to help people to find a place to live and to make it a home.

We launched several new services to support people to find and maintain a home, knowing that once people are in a stable home, it’s easier to make other changes to improve health and wellbeing.

Supporting a sense of homefulness is Towards Home+ in the Geelong and Frankston regions in Victoria, delivered in partnership with Launch Housing, Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-op, Uniting ReGen, Bolton Clarke, and Melbourne City Mission.

Using a shared-care approach, the team supports people experiencing or at risk of sleeping rough to obtain and maintain housing, improve physical and mental health, and develop connections in the local community.

The multi-disciplinary team draws from the expertise of six organisations working together and includes support workers, peer support workers, youth workers, community health nurses, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners, and alcohol and other drug workers.

Everybody brings something slightly different to the table to help cover needs right then and there.

Courtney, Youth Case Manager

You're not just collaborating, you're working in a team together with everybody on the same page.

Linda, Community Health Nurse

Being able to deliver complete, wrap-around support by having a ‘one-stop-shop’ is really beneficial.

Kurt, Assertive Outreach Worker

Working together

Partnerships provide new ways to connect with hard to reach groups.

04. Building a great experience

We continue to transform the way we operate as an organisation to achieve a great experience every time people engage with Neami.

What a great experience looks like

Consumers, carers and staff across the country told us what is needed to ensure any transformation remains consumer-focused, systematic and sustainable and resourced.

Care is connected

It's giving you your options. Letting you know what's out there. I never knew all this help was out there.


Genuinely caring and safe

They have a different approach. They really listen. I think it’s very necessary to have someone to talk with, to have that follow up and that trust in someone like I trust Anna.


I get what I need

I was looking for some support and it’s been more than that, it’s also been about problem-solving. It’s made such a difference to my life.


The service knows what it’s doing and has the resources

It’s been a huge assistance, being able to work one-on-one, listening to what I've had to say and helping to clarify some of the decision making.


Staff members are able and know how to help

I've been able to implement tactics and strategies in my life to help me day by day. And if things do get tough, I know I can look back at what I learnt and use that to get through those tough days.


Across the whole organisation, we are transforming the way we work to align with consumer feedback. It’s only by carefully listening, that we can provide the best possible service every time consumers engage with Neami.

The Board is committed to good governance, accountability, resourcing and culture that supports Neami workers to help consumers in their journey of recovery.

Graeme Doidge, Chair - Neami Board Quality Safety and Clinical Governance Committee

Ensuring a great consumer experience

Seeking opportunities for participation and listening to what works helps us to improve our services.

Consumer participation

204 consumers contributed 1207 hours of participation, shaping how services should operate and where we should be focusing our efforts.

Source: Your Experience of Service Survey - IHBSS South Australia

Experience of service

Feedback from people exiting our services allows us to see where we are delivering great experiences and where we can improve.

Feedback and complaints

This year we received 146 pieces of feedback across our services. We use the information to learn and improve the consumer experience of our services.

05. Adapting to thrive

We have taken the opportunity of a changing funding environment to adapt our organisation to meet future needs while remaining true to our mission.

Better mental health and wellbeing through the NDIS

We worked closely with each person to navigate their options and find the right support for their needs under the NDIS.

As the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) rolls out around the country, our staff are supporting people to make the transition to new services.

We continue to adapt our NDIS specific service, Me Well, to ensure that people receive the highest quality service possible. As Me Well is a wholly-owned subsidiary, we have quickly adapted the delivery of our services while navigating scheme changes over the past twelve months.

With Fred Van Steel coming on board as the inaugural CEO of Me Well, we have focused our energy on structuring a sustainable and scalable business, including bolstering our strategic capacity and corporate processes.

We made the difficult decision to end our provision of direct supports to safeguard our sustainability as an organisation. While the decision created challenges for Me Well customers and staff, we are stronger as a result. The flexibility to make changes has enabled us to better support people with psychosocial disability across the country and into the future.

Through the turbulent year of funding changes and structural adjustments, we have consistently seen positive outcomes for the people we support. The role our services play in improving the lives of our customers is evidence we are on the right path. As we head into the new year, we know the best supports are in place for people with psychosocial disability to live full and meaningful lives.

I talk to them and they talk to me, to see what help I need. They support me because it was too much for me to do on my own, now my life’s changed.


An inclusive and safe culture

Our commitment to diversity and inclusion makes our teams, services and organisation stronger and more effective.

We proudly launched Neami's Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP)

The RAP outlines 72 actions that we'll work towards together to achieve our commitment to reconciliation. Through listening, learning and reflection, the RAP supports Neami as a service provider and employer.

The RAP encompasses how we cultivate relationships and opportunities to better understand Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ experiences of social and emotional wellbeing.

Dajarra Browne, “Healing for change, healing together” 2017 Dajarra Browne, “Healing for change, healing together” 2017

The lived experience aspect of my work has an almost indefinable quality to it. To be able to say "I understand, I know where you’re coming from" and really mean it, is one of the many rewards of doing this work.


Mark's story