South Australia

Kim Holmes, South Australian State Manager
Kim Holmes
South Australian State Manager
We are adding value through rich partnerships and our specialist mental health knowledge.

This year, we have seen positive outcomes from our approach to working collectively. By diversifying our service offering, and being open to working with organisations both inside and out of community-based mental health, we have experienced growth and feel confident in the sustainability of our services.

The Links to Wellbeing consortium gives us a positive example of how working together in partnership maximises the benefit to consumers. As the relationship between Neami, Mind, Skylight and UnitingCare Wesley Bowden has matured, we are working collaboratively despite a more competitive environment. Our role as the lead in the consortia, has given us insight into how, by working together, we all have a renewed focus and greater capacity to deliver PHN-funded programs in Adelaide.

While we are excited to participate in the new PHN programs, we welcome the return of the Intensive Home Based Support Services (IHBSS). Drawing on our rich history of working with people who are experiencing acute mental illness, this service provides intensive, short-term support to avoid hospitalisation. Having delivered IHBSS services until 2014 we value our role in making IHBSS available, including in country communities, with our new services in Port Pirie and Port Lincoln.

We have strengthened our relationship with The University of South Australia by partnering with the Mental Health and Substance Use Research Group for the Shared Learning in Clinical Practice symposium. The event brought people together to consider and discuss themes around therapeutic engagement, choice and risk, within a mental health recovery framework. We were also eager to see the publication of a report on our Next Steps eco-health program by the School of Art, Architecture and Design at the university.

Our evidence-based focus has been used to support the Adelaide Zero Project. This collective impact project, led by the Don Dunstan foundation, plans to achieve ‘functional zero’ homelessness in the Adelaide CBD. Helped by our new Street to Home team, we are using data to build a picture of who is sleeping rough. By knowing each person sleeping rough, we can design services that best support people into sustainable housing.

The Central Adelaide and Hills Partners in Recovery team continue to support people in preparation for the transition to the NDIS. While readying our wholly owned subsidiary, Me Well, for NDIS services, the delayed rollout has given us the opportunity to work more closely to prepare people for the complexities of the transition.

While we see the NDIS as an opportunity, we are mindful that to be successful, the scheme must complement a strong and vibrant community mental health system. With our collective approach across PHN programs, alongside our experience in supporting people with persistent and complex needs, we are well-placed to deliver services that make a positive and lasting impact in our community.

‘It’s important to understand that partnerships are not a soft option, they are hard work. Nurturing partnerships can most definitely improve outcomes for consumers by bringing together collective wisdom, expertise and clout.’
Fiona Kelly
Chief Executive Officer, UnitingCare Wesley Bowden

Our expertise and values will enable us to regrow following a significant reduction in funding.