Authors: Gippsland Accommodation Rehabilitation Support Service Inc (GARSS)
Event: 2004 TheMHS Awards
Type of resource: TheMHS Awards
Award state: NZ
Award level: Finalist
Award category: Recovery Program or Service
Abstract: The program, as a collective endeavour, increases awareness and reduces stigma in the community. Incorporated into a recovery program, it empowers service consumers to be actively involved in mental health promotion in the broader community. This program entails: 1.Community education, a consumer led activity where service consumers speak about their personal experiences and challenges of living with a mental illness in various community and educational settings. 2.‘Its Only Paranoia’ – GARSS Band, a consumer music group who write, perform, record and produce music that depict living with a mental illness. The band also plays at various community events. 3. Crazy minds creative hands, art exhibition, a creative display of artwork, poetry and sculpture created as part of therapy and exhibited to the greater community exhibit that mental illness is not a restriction to achieving .The collaboration of programs is a holistic and innovative approach for recovery and health promotion. Description of Facility/Organisation: Type: GARSS is a community based not-for-profit Psychiatric Disability Rehabilitation Support Service. Area served: GARSS has two physical locations in Gippsland (1) Morwell (head office), and (2) Warragul. GARSS also conducts accredited and non-accredited Adult Education classes in three other Gippsland Locations in (1) Wellington Shire – Sale, (2) South Gippsland Shire – Korumburra, and (3) Bass Coast Shire – Wonthaggi. The geographical area encompasses a majority proportion of eastern Victoria. Funding sources: Victorian State Government Department of Human Services. Staff numbers: 19 including admin staff and management. Number of active clients: GARSS has 126 active clients that receive service from any one or more of the following programs; (1) Youth specific intensive home based outreach and psychosocial day program, (2) Adult home based outreach, (3) Adult Education, (3) Housing, (4) Adult psychosocial day program, (5) Community Education, (6) Volunteer program, (7) Drop in, (8) Leisure programs, and (9) SAFE, self abuse program.