Updating the way we understand the consumer experience has revealed some fantastic outcomes, particularly for the Intensive Home Based Support Service and our work in country regions across the state. Offering recovery-oriented mental health services in such a diverse range of communities has resulted in overwhelmingly positive engagement and strong outcomes for consumers. Our experience in working with complexity and in partnership with clinical and community services allows us to continue to deliver meaningful impact.
Working collectively was paramount in the success of the COVID-19 Emergency Accommodation Response for Rough Sleepers (CEARS). Supporting over 500 people with accommodation assistance and support during COVID-19, the program built on the momentum of the established Adelaide Zero Project. An important outcome is that for 165 people now in permanent housing, CEARS outreach case management support will continue to assist people with longer-term needs such and strengthening community connections.
Supporting people’s immediate needs and helping to find, navigate and connect to community support is a crucial goal of the new After-hours Walk-in service delivered by Links to Wellbeing. As an alternative to presenting to emergency departments, the immediate support is delivered by experienced clinicians and people with a lived experience. We see a growing role for Neami in crisis support continuing into next year with the establishment of South Australia’s first Urgent Mental Health Care Centre.
Group services continued throughout the year and consumers and our team learnt a lot about getting together online and other creative platforms. Artists were able to continue their work during lockdown supported by an “art pack” delivered to their home and coaching by our team. Our teams implemented a creative “walk and talk” approach, providing support over the phone while the worker and consumers walked around their own neighbourhood.
The services in South Australia continue to elevate lived experience as we renew our framework for peer work. How we deliver support, and the reforms that are needed in mental health and homelessness services, all benefit when people who have used support service bring their perspective to what works.