Creating an inclusive workplace 

Many people with a disability who identify as LGBTIQ+ experience significant barriers to accessing services and being fully included in the community. Out Together is a new project developed by Wellways to improve the capacity of National Disability Insurance Scheme providers to recruit, train and support workers who identify as LGBTIQ+ and have their own lived experience of disability and mental health challenges.

The development of this innovative workforce will in turn support NDIS participants who identify as LGBTIQ+ to better access and utilise the NDIS.

Project manager Charles Anderson said that on a personal level it was an exciting opportunity to utilise his skills. “As a member of the LGBTIQ+ community, [Out Together] presented an opportunity to positively affect change in the NDIS operational environment,” Mr Anderson said. “It is a chance to contribute to the community.”

While two areas of Victoria were used as test sites, Out Together will in future expand to other regions. The development of Out Together was supported by a grant offered under the Innovative Workforce Fund, administered by National Disability Services with funding from the Australian Government Department of Social Services.

The Out Together toolkit and other resources are available for free download on our Out Together page

In brief

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Brothers spread the word 

Steve Morris and Jeff AmattoIn Narrandera, NSW, Wellways held a drugs, alcohol and mental health awareness session presented by Brothers 4 Recovery, Steve Morris and Jeff Amatto.  The pair has travelled more than 20,000km visiting over 60 communities and schools delivering drug, alcohol and suicide prevention talks. “We had a turnout of over 50 people and it was great to hear the life-affirming and hope-filled messages of their journeys from addiction to recovery,” said Carolyn Drinkwater, Suicide Prevention Support Coordinator of the Murrumbidgee Suicide Prevention Program. 

Surfing wave of support

Former world champion surfer Kelly SlaterWellways Illawarra and Shoalhaven, NSW, will play host to the Red Ribbon charity surfboard, 16-30 July. The Red Ribbon surfboard tours the southern NSW region thanks to the local primary healthcare network’s HARP project and is a symbol of solidarity and respect for people living with HIV/AIDS. It also helps raise awareness of sexual health with younger people who can enter the draw to win the surfboard, which is drawn on World AIDS Day, December 3. Wellways office, Morrison’s Arcade - Suite 1, Level 1, 103 Junction Street, Nowra.

Excellent nomination 

Wellways Murrumbidgee teamWellways regional manager Zoe Evans and the team at the Murrumbidgee Suicide Prevention Program, in NSW, have been nominated in the Murrumbidgee Local Health District excellence awards, to be announced next month. The awards celebrate the achievements of individuals and teams for their pursuit of excellence and commitment to improving the lives of others. The focus is on wellness and seizing every opportunity to work in partnership with communities to build and maintain wellness. 

Thanks to our volunteers 

Wellways in Melbourne’s south-east recently held a lunch celebrating the generous help and support of volunteers. People from Voices Vic spoke about their experience of hearing voices, sometimes called auditory hallucinations, and how they have learned to live with them and even find them helpful. Manager of volunteer engagement, Shaun Walsh, said volunteers made an enormous contribution to the work of Wellways and deserved praise. “All our volunteers are really valued by Wellways, they selflessly support others and give up their free time to do this. In regards to the services that Wellways provides I consider our volunteer programs and our volunteers to be the icing on the cake.” he said.

LinC to art

Calling all Canberra creatives. Join our LinC art workshops for an art program designed for good mental health. It’s an accessible, inclusive and supportive workshop for people living with mental health issues and disabilities and is open to everyone, regardless of skill level – from beginner through to more experienced. Places are limited.

Starts Thursday 12.30pm, 26 July.

For more details contact: Amelia at LinCact@wellways.org or call 02 6246 7122

Minds do Matter entries

Entry is open for the Minds Do Matter Art Exhibition in Launceston, Tasmania. This year’s theme is “Do you see what I see?” The exhibition will run during Mental Health Month in October. For an entry form or general enquiries contact launceston@wellways.org