A lot has changed for Laura, a graphic designer from Melbourne’s north-east, over the last 12 months. She is connecting with others through recreational activities, such as group hikes, and is attending the weekly yoga class at a community house. Laura has also built enough confidence to go grocery shopping and even take the train by herself. The 30-year-old NDIS participant has been able to make these positive steps, and move on from a toxic relationship, by engaging with the appropriate supports that enable Laura to achieve her goals.
“I was previously diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder but have since spoken to a family counsellor who feels my mental health aligns with Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD), so I came to Mind to get some support,” she says. “I was unsure how I was going to get better and if these supports were going to help me, but working with Josephine (a Mind Community Mental Health Practitioner) I have become more comfortable and I’ve been able to try new things and get out in the community.”
Josephine is Laura’s support coordinator. She works to understand Laura’s goals, help determine the best types of support to achieve these goals and, most importantly, how to get the best out of Laura’s NDIS plan. As a support coordinator, Josephine helps NDIS participants navigate the system and, once they have identified suitable supports, develop service agreements with providers.
“When I first met Laura we met regularly to determine what Laura’s goals were and what supports she felt she needed,” Josephine explains. “Out Doors Inc. (a not-for-profit organisation that delivers adventure and recreation programs for people with mental ill-health) was one of the providers mentioned so I made some calls and Laura has participated in a hike and she is looking forward to attending future hikes and camping trips.”
Rhonda, Laura’s mother, says Laura has made a “huge amount of progress” since the right supports, including a dialectical behaviour therapist , were identified. “Laura has taken positive steps in all sorts of ways, including being more independent, more outspoken and seeking what she needs. She’s accessing more outside things, like walking, yoga and meditation, and not feeling as overwhelmed. Naturally, some days are more difficult than others but overall we see improvement,” Rhonda says.
“Josephine, Laura and I are all on the same page, and that relationship really helps. We’re all comfortable to have conversations and it has become a really important part of the NDIS package…it’s important that someone can find the right supports and help us navigate the system.”