Chris, 55 years old from Logan, has been enjoying a weekly art class thanks to support from Open Minds, enabling him to be reacquainted with a teenage hobby while participating in a community activity.
For the past three years, Open Minds has been providing community access support to Chris five days a week to increase his social interaction and engagement in the community.
One of Chris’ NDIS goals was to attend an art class, so with the help of Open Minds Support Workers, Chris signed up to a suitable class and has been combining his love of music with a hobby he hasn’t used for over 35 years.
“When I was 15 years old, I was taught to paint by someone that I used to live with that was a head artist and I recall enjoying it at the time.
“When Open Minds first helped me find an art class, I had a good go of it and I really liked it. It’s a nice little class and when I’m painting it’s very peaceful and calming which helps me relax.
Chris mostly paints portraits using acrylics and enjoys painting some of his favourite musicians.
“I love live shows and watching musicians perform on TV just isn’t good enough. I saw Billy Idol in 2020 which was awesome and I’m really looking forward to Guns N’ Roses in November,” Chris said.
One of Chris’ Support Workers for the past three years, Tony has observed how Chris benefits from active participation in the community.
“Chris tells me he loves getting out and about with his Support Workers because when he is with us, he doesn’t hear the voices in his head and he’s happy and totally unaffected.
“One of the best things about our team is that we can be flexible to suit the clients’ needs to do what they want when they want. For example, Chris was previously getting support five days a week, but he was finding weekends particularly difficult, so we were able to shorten his weekday support and offer some support on the weekend too.
“What I enjoy about working for Open Minds is having a fulfilling job where I can see how my support is helping others every day,” Tony said.
In addition to his weekly art class, Chris enjoys getting out and about, exploring other parts of the greater Brisbane area.
“I like everything I do with my Open Minds Support Workers,” said Chris.
Community Participation, commonly known as Community Access Support, for people with mental illness or disabilities involves a recreational or educational activity of their choice to increase social connection.
Open Minds provides Community Participation in numerous locations across Queensland.
Find out more about our Community Participation service here.