These are extraordinary times for us all. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit Australia, this issue of Mind View was in the final stages of preparation. Its theme was 'Connected in the community' - a look at the different ways we help people with mental health conditions to build their connections to their local community.
This edition may be a little late because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but we are delighted to say that its theme is still 'Connected in the community'.
This is because the dedication - and in some cases ingenuity - of our staff has ensured that we can still share with you the programs and support relationships we prepared for this issue before COVID-19. These have continued throughout the restrictions, albeit in different forms.
When COVID-19 reached Australia, the physical distancing restrictions required us to close our Mind centres and deliver their programs through virtual platforms, where possible. We had to change our outreach services to phone or video outreach, with in-person outreaching (using physical distancing) in reserve for our most vulnerable and isolated clients.
Our Information Services team performed an extraordinary transformation of the way the entire organisation works and delivers services to clients. This was achieved in days rather than weeks and we cannot thank them enough.
The commitment of our frontline residential and outreach staff in keeping clients safe and supported has been fantastic. They and our many clinical partners and funding agencies have worked as one to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our clients and staff.
Thank you also to our clients, families and carers for following the necessary but challenging physical distancing and visitor restrictions to keep everyone safe during the pandemic. This has truly been a team effort.
As Australia cautiously navigates the fluctuations of this pandemic, Mind's recovery plan is incorporating everything we have learned through these difficult months to better embrace the changed landscape that lies ahead.