This report is the outcome of a review of the Wellness Connect program. It was conducted by the Neami National research and evaluation team from January to June 2023. Wellness Connect NPSP is funded by the Adelaide Primary Health Network and delivered through a consortium model across metropolitan Adelaide. The consortium is led by Neami National, working with Life Without Barriers, Mind Australia, Mission Australia, Skylight, Uniting Care Wesley Bowden and Community Access and Services SA. Wellness Connect (WC) provides low-intensity, community-based, one-to-one coaching and group activities that support recovery for people with mental health challenges who have not accessed the NDIS.
Wellness Connect consists of three parts:
- One-on-one support for 3-6 months to identify goals, link into local services and supports, build confidence and support networks.
- A group-based program of up to 12 months. Groups cover 3 broad categories – social and recreational skills, practical skills and emotional self-regulation.
- Support to test eligibility for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), including assistance to gather evidence and complete applications.
Who was involved
Summary and Recommendation
The findings in this report underscore the importance of creating supportive environments for staff , addressing communication and coordination issues, and improving logistical and administrative processes across a large consortium. It highlights the complexities of providing short-term support to individuals with complex needs, emphasising the significance of realistic goal-setting and adequate staff support. The service was instrumental in filling support gaps, especially for those without access to the NDIS, and consumer feedback emphasises the value of genuine connections, autonomy, navigating complex systems, and fostering hope. Addressing the recommended improvements in flexibility, communication, and awareness can further enhance the positive impact of the Wellness Connect program on consumers’ lives.
Enhancing Session Flexibility and Support Adaptability:
- Explore flexible scheduling and consumer-driven session requests.
- Offer a flexible session structure and extend the length of support to 12 months.
Enhancing Communication Clarity:
- Revamp the intake process and develop standardized communication protocols.
- Conduct regular evaluations and refi ne the communication approach accordingly.
Creating a Holistic and Integrated Support System:
- Streamline the process for consumers to access different support modalities.
- Enhance internal communication and training to foster shared understanding among staff .
Enhancing Financial Support for Essential Treatment and Assessments:
- Forge partnerships with service providers and establish a dedicated fund.
- Promote awareness and ease of access to brokerage support for essential testing
Enhancing Group Attendance:
- Streamline access to groups and commission a project to explore barriers and enablers to participation.