S24: Ability Links – A NSW Government Initiative – creating an impact on the disability and mental health sector by changing the face of human services – the program of the future.

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By September 21, 2017 No Comments

Authors: Yvonne Learmonth

Year: 2017

Event: 2017 TheMHS Conference

Subject: Change, Innovation, Reform, Community, Culture, Society

Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers

Abstract: Ability Links is an initiative funded by the NSW Government to support people with a disability, their families and carers to reach their personal goals by connecting to the community. Ability Links is innovative as it requires no formal process for referrals.

Ability Linkers identify areas in the community where they can build on current and identify new options for inclusion. . The Linkers role is to work with individuals and to undertake Community Development initiatives.

Urbis has found that Ability Links NSW is achieving “remarkable outcomes’’ within a short space of time and having a “profound effect” on people’s lives. The model has resonated strongly with Aboriginal people and communities as it encompasses an informal, flexible, non-bureaucratic and whole-of-family approach.

The URBIS Final Report 2016 p.8 shows outcomes from recipients:
• ‘confidence and self-worth grows through the Linker understanding and relating to them as a unique individual’,
• ‘People feel comfortable conveying their ‘story’, including any previous (positive and negative) experiences of the service sector’.
• ‘People feel comfortable expressing their needs, even when they are personal and do not relate to the provision of traditional services (e.g. social isolation)

Approximately 20 per cent of the Australian population will experience mental illness in any given year - https://mhaustralia.org/

Ability Links is proving to be the program of the future.

Learning Objectives
Learning Objectives 1: I believe the audience will take away an alternative approach to how a program managing mental health and disability can work with individuals and community. An initiative which is totally person centered and does not have any red tape attached meaning the person seeking guidance can work completely towards their own goals without any referral and personal details being required. An initiative where the workers work toward change in the community that will benefit everyone within that community.

Learning Objectives 2: This initiative is one directed at those who identify with having a mental health issue, a person who may not be formally diagnosed. We work with those people who have lost touch with the world, who are socially disconnected from society. We work with them to source what they need to achieve their goals. We recognize MH in the community and work with people to get connected into what they want to do and to get where they want to be.

Approximately 20 per cent of the Australian population will experience mental illness in any given year - https://mhaustralia.org/
Urbis Report 2016 - Sydney
Tower 2, Level 23, Darling Park
201 Sussex Street Sydney, NSW 2000

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