Over 40 participants attended the Open Minds first client and carer forum on 23 May 2018. The forum included a speech from Natasha Malmstrom about her own struggles with mental illness and her recovery journey.
The forum was held to share updates on Open Minds planned improvements, and to allow our highly valued service users to share their feedback.
We were honoured to have our guest speaker, Natasha Malmstrom, open up about her own lived experience through her struggles with mental illness.
By having the right supports in place, Natasha was able to navigate her recovery journey, and the audience was engrossed hearing about how she’s turned her life around.
Natasha said: “There was a time when I didn’t know who I was or where I wanted to go. Open Minds helped me to find opportunities to heal, and they supported my growth and my recovery.
I started attending their programs, specifically WRAP -Wellness Recovery Action Planning where I learnt so much about myself, I had lots of little wins. After finishing the program, I completed the facilitators course and I co-ran one of the new groups! I now have opportunities to use my experiences and speak in front of audiences and am having great successes in both my personal and work life.”
“As someone who has been on a recovery journey, I still practice some of the skills that Open Minds taught me in my life now and will continue to do so into the future – my recovery journey hasn’t stopped.”
Open Minds Chief Executive Officer, Simon James, was also in attendance, and spoke about the importance of gathering feedback from our service users in order to improve the service and supports that Open Minds provides.
“Our clients are at the heart of everything we do at Open Minds, and I’m very grateful to everyone who attended this forum today and shared their views with us.”
Some of the feedback we received during the session included better communication needed around upcoming events and programs, and better access for clients to provide immediate complaints or compliments.
We will be taking this feedback on board in addition to the rest of the information shared, and using these insights to improve how we operate.
During the afternoon, an update was provided on the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and the imminent rollout taking place on 1 July 2018 in Brisbane, Logan and Redlands.
Open Minds NDIS Manager, Jayne Boreham said: “We want to ensure that all of our clients transitioning to the NDIS receive the appropriate supports they need to live they life they want.
“That’s why we’re holding pre-planning sessions, so that we can sit down with our clients and get them ready for their NDIS meeting before it takes place.
”We would encourage all clients to contact us to book in their pre-planning sessions if they haven’t already done so on [email protected].”
Open Minds would like to extend our thanks to all of our service users who made the journey to attend, both clients of Open Minds and their family members.
We would also like to thank State Library Queensland, Ab Fab Catering, and all Open Minds staff involved with the event, and who supported their clients to attend.