Contract win in Mildura

The new $4.3 million mental health support unit at Mildura will be operated by Wellways. 

When the state-of-the-art 10 bed Prevention and Recovery Care (PARC) unit opens early next year it will provide 24-hour residential care for short and long term patients. 

Wellways Chief Executive Officer Elizabeth Crowther said: “We are delighted to work at a centre so very well equipped to support people in a comfortable, culturally-sensitive environment located in their own area.

“We are all about getting people back home and back into their community. Key features of the PARC program are about managing yourself, involving families and planning for your own recovery,” Ms Crowther said.

The Mallee region has one of the highest Aboriginal populations in the Victoria and the centre has a culturally sensitive design along with specially trained staff. 

Wellways will provide jobs for 10 people and will operate the centre in partnership with Bendigo Health and the Mildura Base Hospital, which is situated nearby. Wellways already operates four PARC units across Victoria. 

Prevention and Recovery Care (PARC) centres provide residential support for people experiencing mental health issues, with the aim of preventing a possible hospital admission. 

Community NDIS mental health conference

Wellways Chief Executive Officer and Community Mental Health Australia President, Liz Crowther, opened the first community-led National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) conference held last month in Sydney.

The conference was organised by Community Mental Health Australia and attended by over 500 people from consumer, government and community organisations.

The theme of the conference was “towards a good life” and “the sector recognises the significant opportunity the NDIS presents,” Ms Crowther said. 

“It is vital that governments and all agencies involved with the NDIS work in partnership with the community managed mental health sector to develop solutions to concerns and issues that have emerged and learn from the lessons of implementation sites,” she said. 

“Implementing a transformation as big as this provides challenges for all parties, we haven’t got it right yet. The theme of the conference was a resounding endorsement for the NDIS implementation, however The NDIS is problematic for those with mental health issues. Their symptoms may come and go, yet they are expected to imagine their worst day and the supports they will need,” Ms Crowther said.

The appointment of Dr Gerry Naughtin as the Special Mental Health Adviser to the NDIA was announced at the conference and we are hopeful that this appointment is an indicator of opportunity to resolve the issues. Dr Naughtin is CEO at Mind Australia.

Festival of Lights 

Wellways staff cooked up a storm at Frankston’s recent Festival of Lights in Melbourne’s south. It was a balmy evening but the threat of thunderstorms failed to dampen the crowd’s spirits. 

The Wellways team cooked nearly 1000 sausages over the course of the evening and gave out special treats for the kids.

This is a fantastic community event which celebrated its 20th year. The largest free Christmas festival in Victoria, the event finished with a beautiful fireworks display and lighting up the Christmas tree.