Wellways is now delivering a significant portion of the Housing and Accommodation Support Initiative (HASI) in New South Wales after winning 23 new contracts in July.

The expansion means Wellways has established 17 new offices, recruited more than 80 people and held about 50 partnership and transition meetings with the Local Health District Mental Health Services and former service providers.

Wellways CEO Elizabeth Crowther said the HASI program win marked an important milestone, signifying a time of growth. “We are hoping to expand our successful programs further across the eastern states as we believe more people should be able to access our services. We have always had faith in our philosophy and model of care and this is a great endorsement,” Ms Crowther said.

Gavin Bussenschutt, Wellways Mental Health Services ACT and NSW General Manager said it had been a period of enormous growth for the Wellways organisation. “Our staff have well and truly gone above and beyond what I would have otherwise expected to support the successful establishment of these new programs,” he said.

The HASI program is delivered in partnership with NSW Health, Housing NSW and helps people with mental health problems into stable housing and links them to clinical and psychosocial rehabilitation services. Wellways is also delivering the Resource and Recovery Support Program.

The two programs deliver community-based psychosocial supports for people experiencing mental illness in NSW. HASI provides people who have mental health issues with support so they can maintain successful tenancies and participate in their communities. 

This support often results in improvements in their quality of life and, most importantly, assists in their recovery from mental illness. 

A 2012 evaluation of HASI confirmed that when housing is linked to appropriate clinical and rehabilitation support, people are better able to overcome the often debilitating effects of mental illness and to live more independent lives.

The evaluation also found that the majority of HASI consumers were successfully maintaining their tenancies (around 90 per cent), that their mental health was improving and that they were spending less time in hospital since they had joined the program. 

In addition, consumers were regularly using appropriate services in the community and were demonstrating a high degree of independence in daily living.