Thriving at Haven Mooroopna
7 minute read

Cuchulainn has had his own home at Haven Mooroopna for just over a year and a lot has changed for him since then. 

“I wouldn’t have done this interview back when I first moved in – I was very shy,” he said after a busy morning showing Victoria’s Minister for Housing Harriet Shing around the estate and posing for photos with her for local media.

Cuchulainn’s new home is one of 16 detached units encircling a large central garden, in Mooroopna, a country town near Shepparton.

Haven residences provide people experiencing mental health challenges with long-term housing and 24/7 support from onsite staff. Mind Australia manages these residences in partnership with community housing provider The Haven Foundation, a subsidiary of Mind.

“I love having my own space – and it has a nice front verandah. And it’s not too big to clean,” Cuchulainn said.

Cuchulainn’s unit is completely self-contained, with its own kitchen, bedroom, living room and laundry, but Haven Mooroopna also has a central communal building where residents can come together for coffee, meals, and other group and leisure activities. 

“I’m making really good friends here,” Cuchulainn said. “It’s heaps easier to connect with people here. People here understand you and the staff are here to help you.”

Cuchulainn said living with his mental health condition has been very challenging over the years. Before it was diagnosed it was hard to understand what was happening in his mind.

He was finally diagnosed after being hospitalised in psychological distress and it was there he was told about Haven Mooroopna and moved in from there. 

“Moving in, I just had a fantastic reaction – it was so lovely to have a place to call my own.”

I’m making really good friends here. It’s heaps easier to connect with people here. People here understand you and the staff are here to help you.
- Cuchulainn

Cuchulainn said he was withdrawn at first as his mental health condition can make him lose motivation and joy in his interests, but over time he has come out of his shell at Haven Mooroopna.

An important part of this has been understanding and managing his mental health.

“I can open up here and tackle the problems. Other people are here to help you identify your problems and every day is a new day,” Cuchulainn said. “Back then I couldn’t enjoy anything but now I am enjoying all the things I like - like programming, painting, video games and movies.”

Haven residences are staffed by qualified and experienced Mind community mental health practitioners – including peer practitioners who use their own lived experience of mental health challenges to connect with and inspire residents in their recovery journey.

As well as providing everyday support, staff support residents in identifying their recovery goals and working to achieve them.

Cuchulainn said his main goal is to get back into the workforce and getting his driver’s license and he is making great progress in both. Fascinated by computers and cybersecurity, Cuchulainn taught himself programming and has enrolled in a Certificate in Information Technology at GOTAFE.

“I’m just so excited by what Cuchulainn has achieved,” said Haven Mooroopna Service Manager Trudy Fuller. “He recently spoke to an audience of people at an information day for Haven Seymour and did it with great confidence. It’s fantastic to see him discovering what he can do and be excited about his future.”

About The Haven Foundation

Haven residences provide a high quality home and living support for people with mental health and wellbeing concerns to find help, hope and purpose in their lives.

Mind CEO Gill Callister said The Haven Foundation offers a safe living environment while encouraging independence.

“Haven residences enable people with significant long-term mental health issues to lead successful and fulfilling lives in the community,” Ms Callister said.

“In many cases, Haven residents are able to break a cycle of homelessness and mental ill-health which has led to hospitalisations in the past.

“Our housing models are proven to provide stability, independence and a greater sense of belonging, confidence and responsibility to our clients.”

Mind Australia Executive Director-Housing Strategy Mark Heeney said Haven residences are for NDIS participants whose capacity to live independently is impacted by long-term mental health issues.

“Residents make a contribution from their NDIS plan to fund the shared 24/7 onsite support which Mind provides.

“Residents receive help with daily tasks, develop skills for independent living and work on their mental illness recovery.”

Haven residences feature up to 16 private apartments, each with its own kitchen, living room, bathroom, laundry facilities and outdoor area.

Residents learn life skills, like confidence and connection with others, to help build a healthy lifestyle. The Haven Foundation model promotes and supports the involvement of family, friends and carers.

If you would like more information, please contact us via Mind Connect or phone: 1300 286 463

If this article raises concerns for you, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14. Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islanders can also call 13 YARN (13 92 76) a 24/7 national crisis support telephone service staffed by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. 
If you would like more information, please contact us.

1300 286 463 
[email protected]  

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