News • 11 Feb 2020

Living his best life thanks to the support of Open Minds and the NDIS

Living his best life thanks to the support of Open Minds and the NDIS

Nathan, through the help of his Open Minds Transition Support Worker, Grahame, has been able to live his best life thanks to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). Through the support of Open Minds, transitioning onto the NDIS has seen Nathan go to the movies, music concerts, take up dancing and he is now working towards his goal of moving out of home. 

Life improved for Nathan when he was transitioned onto the NDIS.

Nathan received support from the Open Minds Personal Helpers and Mentors (PHaMs) team for around four years.

The PHaMs program was a community-based support initiative funded by the Queensland Government, and was phased out as the NDIS rolled out across the country.

Thankfully, Open Minds were able to support Nathan in the application for a successful NDIS-funded plan. 

The weekly visits to Open Minds and chats with Support Worker Grahame were incredibly beneficial, Nathan said.

It meant I had an outlet to ‘vent’ my frustrations and just having someone to listen and validate that what I was feeling, was a huge help.

Open Minds supported Nathan to get a Companion Card, which has enabled him to have support to access the community, attend sporting events, community events, and rekindle his love of music by going to concerts. 

Having the NDIS is a blessing, he said.

Since transitioning onto the NDIS, I have been able to look into short-term (respite) accommodation when I need a break from home.” 

Nathan’s hobbies, which he is now able to undertake thanks to his Support Workers, include going to the cinema—which he hasn’t done in years, and in the last six weeks has seen six movies (with ‘The Gentleman’ being one of his recent favourites)—attending Latin dancing classes once or twice a week, bush walking, ten-pin bowling, and aims to go to more sporting events and music concerts.

With daily support from his Support Workers, Nathan has been able to undertake activities that in the past he would have stayed away from, such as heading to the shops during the Christmas period. 

Nathan commented that he felt anxious at the shops, however with the support of his worker, he felt it was a growth experience. 

If it doesn’t make me a little anxious, then I can’t learn from it.

He knows there are more community group activities that he would like to consider, especially ones that help him achieve his goals to get back into volunteer work, and then hopefully paid work in future.  
Nathan is working toward his three long-term goals on his NDIS plan.

These are to secure long-term supported accommodation, to enable him to move out of home, to get back into volunteer work—and eventually secure paid employment—and to get socially active ‘back on his feet’; with the goal of going to see a movie without a support worker present, and to go see a film in Gold Class for his birthday.

Grahame, Open Minds Transition Support Worker, commented: “I haven’t seen Nathan this happy and smile so much in the four years that he has been with us.

It is wonderful to see how the NDIS has changed his life and brought such an element of fulfilment to Nathans life.

Nathan added: “The NDIS can be hard to navigate, but it’s worth the effort.

If you have to, keep on trying. Don’t give up. It’s been a blessing for me, and I can’t thank everyone at Open Minds who have helped me over the years.

Nathan also said: “Once you get onto the NDIS it’s not the end of journey, but only the beginning, it will grow with you and you just need to keep on researching ways to maximise it