22 December 2022

This year has been a transformative one for Mind; one we are extremely proud to showcase in our Annual Report.

Mind is at the vanguard of the movement to put lived experience at the heart of our mental health system.

This is a central theme of all current major pieces of mental health reform in Australia - from the Productivity Commission Mental Health Inquiry Report to the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System – and we are proud to be part of making this a reality.

We launched our Lived Experience Strategy in November 2021 and it is more than just a document to us - it’s the key to Mind continuing to drive the transformation of Australia’s mental health system.

We are already ahead of schedule in meeting the Strategy’s peer workforce and leadership targets, including the target for 20 per cent of our total workforce to be peer practitioners by 2024.

In South Australia alone, Mind’s psychosocial programs have already achieved a 900 per cent increase in designated peer practitioner and lived experience leadership roles since March 2021.

It’s a fantastic achievement. Mind was chosen to deliver the pilot of the 100 per cent peer operated Connect program in South Australia, which provides an alternative to hospitalisation for people experiencing mental health and wellbeing issues that require intensive supports. You can see data for improved client outcomes for Connect clients on p11 of the Annual Report.

Mind is privileged to have been chosen to operate many of Victoria’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Hubs, established to address the impact of the pandemic on the community.

Here too, Mind peer practitioners are playing a vital role in significantly reducing psychological distress for people and providing practical support and referrals.

The growth of The Haven Foundation’s integrated social housing and support program has also been a major achievement. The Haven Foundation, a vital part of the Mind Group, opened another three new multi-unit residences this financial year – all operating with 24/7 management and support from Mind Australia.

One of these is in Mooroopna where we are proud to be supporting several residents from local Aboriginal communities.

We have developed a partnership with local Aboriginal cooperative Rumbalara to ensure as many services as possible are procured through Aboriginal suppliers, strengthening the service’s connections with local community.

This year the Victorian government committed funding to build another four Haven Foundation residences in high need locations. Combining housing security, community, independence and support, this model continues to transform lives.

From Delta lockdowns to the endless pivots as Omicron variants moved through our communities, the one constant for us this financial year has been the fantastic professionalism and dedication of our frontline staff in ensuring the safety and wellbeing of the people we support.

Our professional, committed staff provides help, hope and purpose to more than 11,000 people every year.

They are why Mind continues to thrive after more than 45 years.

We thank them for their continued excellence and dedication.

Click here to read Mind Australia’s 2021-2022 Annual Report.

Gill Callister.