Neami National CEO Arthur Papakotsias has announced that Neami’s Splash Art Studio will close as of 30 June 2015 due to funding changes in the Victorian mental health sector.
Splash has a long and colourful history in Melbourne’s northern suburbs, providing people living with mental illness with support from professional arts workers and the chance to exhibit and sell their work.
Over two decades, hundreds of people have benefitted from the chance to integrate arts practice into their recovery journey.
Earlier this year, the Victorian Government carried out a recommissioning of the community mental health sector and group and day programs like Splash are no longer funded under the new arrangements.
Likewise, the trend towards individualised funding approaches, like the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), favour individually tailored outreach support over group programs. This combination of factors means that Splash is no longer financially viable for Neami to operate.
Mr Papakotsias said ‘Art plays an important part in recovery for many people, in both expressing the things they feel and experience, as well as in building their confidence and sense of self-worth. It is a sad day for everyone here at Neami, but we will continue to provide opportunities for consumers to link in with mainstream art groups and to find other ways to express themselves creatively.’
Splash is no longer accepting new referrals, but will continue to run programs for existing artists up until it closes. Both staff and consumers are being supported through this difficult transition.
Glen Tobias, Victorian State Manager – (03) 9853 2555