Our Individualised Services team provides support to people with disability and those who identify as living with mental illness. These services are primarily provided through the NDIS.
Uniting Individualised Services remains focused on overcoming the challenges of remaining sustainable while continuing to provide person-centred supports under the NDIS.
This year, Participant Reference Group meetings were localised to make it easier for our Participants to attend. These groups provide a forum for our participants, as well as their families and carers, to share their feedback so we can improve the quality of the services we deliver.
In the Great Southern, Participants were provided with opportunities to connect with each other and their local community via a social coffee group. Participants are being supported by the team to build their skills and capacity so that they can eventually manage the social group themselves.
Supported accommodation and community participation
Our team provides supported accommodation for adults who want to maintain independence in a shared living environment. We also cater to people who live in their own home and want support to live independently.
Everybody’s journey is unique, so we also support people 1:1 to do the things they want outside of the home. This can be a new skill, following a passion or connecting with community — it’s all up to the people we support.
Jacinta Hampson lives in a supported accommodation home she shares with other Uniting Participants.
At 18 years’ old, Jacinta had just finished her first year of a university degree in Journalism when she had an accident that left her with catastrophic head injuries that doctors warned she would never survive.
But Jacinta fought back. After emerging from a coma and learning how to swallow, eat, walk and talk again, she began the journey to rebuild the rest of her life from the ground up. Two years after her accident, Jacinta wrote a story about her experience of adjusting to life with disability.
Now 52 years old, Jacinta was supported to publish her story as a blog on the Uniting website .
As a strengths-based, recovery-focussed support service, Uniting Recovery Options helps people experiencing mental distress and/or trauma. This service is available both within and external to the NDIS.
Participants who have expressed a desire to access the NDIS have been supported to do so by the Recovery Options team. Of the 96 participants who chose to apply for access to the NDIS, 83% were deemed eligible for funding packages –higher than the national average. All Participants with NDIS plans are now receiving increased hours of support to reach their goals and participate in their community.
Kirsty is an accomplished artist with lived experience of mental illness. She has created and sold works – including commissioned pieces – in acrylic, oil and watercolour for many years.
By her own admission, Kirsty can be a bit introverted. She says art helps her come out of her shell.
“Art helps me stay motivated, and it makes me feel good about myself,” said Kirsty.
“It helps me get through the hard times and gives me the confidence to promote myself.”
As well as working on a children’s book, Kirsty has a goal to host an exhibition of her more recent work. She’s currently working hard to produce the required volume of work.
Kirsty has experienced periods where she wasn’t motivated and struggled to leave the house due to agoraphobia. She uses National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) funding to access support from Uniting.
Uniting provides day-to-day support to Kirsty on a 1:1 basis.
“Uniting help me get organised around the house, they’ve helped me with budgeting. We go shopping and talk about goals. We go walking, work on exercise goals. We talk about everything,” she said.
“I used to have panic attacks, but I don’t seem to have them as much now,” added Kirsty.
Some of Kirsty’s art was recently spotted by the parents of Eden Knight, a Service Lead with Uniting’s Individualised Services who sadly passed away last year. Eden’s parents were wowed by Kirsty’s artwork, and so impressed by her story that they decided to purchase a painting from Kirsty and donate it to Uniting, so it could be displayed in the home where Eden worked.
They finally settled on Coastal Daisybush at the Lagoon, which will be hung at the house with a plaque to acknowledge Eden and his family.