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Our new, mobile-friendly website goes live!

If you’re a regular visitor to our blog, you may notice that it now looks different. That’s because we have launched a brand new website.

Our new and improved website is accessible, which means that it is built for people with visual difficulties (you can adapt the font size and background colours). In addition it is responsive, easily viewed on a mobile or tablet as well as a computer, with the pages adapting to fit whatever device you are using.

What else is new?

We’ve made it easier for the user to find out more about and understand each service area better with lots of external resources and glossaries.

People with Disability glossary webpage

There is also a brand new fundraising section called how can I help? which offers a range of opportunities for people to get involved with supporting Rise. You can find out about putting on a fundraising event using our handy guide, purchase a gift such as a school uniform or a driving lesson for a disadvantaged young people or get a team of budding colleagues together for a Corporate Volunteer day.

Image of Rise webpage for fundraising, donations and volunteers

Another new addition to the site is the events section. This is where we will promote the events we are holding and attending. These could be conferences, morning teas for volunteers or visiting a local community day with a Rise stall.

Helping you find the information you need

We’ve also introduced a new National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) area, which provides information about NDIS and NDIS My Way. It explains what NDIS is, helps you to find out if you are eligible for NDIS and tells you about our NDIS services and locations.

Rise NDIS webpage showing each area we can help with

Why not head over to our home page here and check out our new look. We hope you like what you see and will be able to find what you’re looking for.

Our commitment to Carers

Two ladies walking away from building, one holding the other's handAs part of our commitment to carers we recently developed our own Rise Carers Definition. This was done so we can clearly identify and communicate to all stakeholders who our carers are.

Rise’s Carers Definition

Carers are people who provide ongoing unpaid care and support to family members, friends, neighbours or any other associated person who has a disability, mental health issue, chronic condition, terminal illness or who are frail aged.

Rise’s Carer Recognition Plan

Rise also has its our own Carers recognition Plan which outlines how Rise will meet the standards of the WA Carers Charter.  For more information on Rise’s Carer Recognition Plan or how we support Carers, please contact your program manager.

Did you know?

  • Over 2.9 million Australians provide help and support to a family member or friend, saving the Australian community more than $40 billion per year.
  • An estimated 310,000 Western Australians provide unpaid care and support to a family member or friend who requires help due to illness, disability or frail age.
  • The Carers Recognition Act is a Western Australian law which recognises the role of carers in the community and provides a way of involving them in delivering services that affect carers and their caring role.
  • The Carers Recognition Act establishes the Western Australia Carers Charter which states:
    • Carers must be treated with respect and dignity.
    • The role of carers must be recognised by including carers in the assessment, planning, delivery and review of services that impact on them and the role of carers.
    • The views and needs of carers must be taken into account along with the views, needs and best interests of people receiving care when decisions are made that impact on carers and the role of carers.
    • Complaints made by carers in relation to services that impact on them and the role of carers must be given due attention and consideration.

For more information about our work with Carers, visit our web page.

Generous hamper donations bring Christmas cheer to Mental Health clients

Christmas Hamper Pickup 1Rise Mental Health Services was overwhelmed to receive so many kind donations of Christmas Hampers once again this year for the people we support.

We received 25 hampers from True North Church in Mullaloo, 35 from the Foodbank and 45 from the Kalamunda Church of Christ in Lesmurdie!

Members of the Rise team collaborated for a big pick up of the generous hampers with most of them being delivered to the people we support the very next day.

Christmas Hamper Pickup 2

Christmas hamper items sitting on tables including Christmas pudding, tea bags, tinned food, biscuits.

We wish to sincerely thank the organisations for their generous support which gives much needed cheer, comfort and hope at this time of year.

Andrea Yates – Administration Officer, Mental Health Services

The latest Peer Work Course comes to a successful end

Peer Work Course participants and facilitators standing in front of Rise banner

Peer Work Course Graduates: Back row: Craig, Margaret (MIFWA Facilitator), Madeline, Alison, Michelle, Ali, Anthony. Front row: Evie, Paula, Laura, Michael (Rise Facilitator)

Rise Mental Health Services held the last Peer Work Course for 2015 throughout October and November.

The Introduction to Peer Work Course allows people with a lived mental health experience to learn skills and develop an understanding about the mental health industry so that they can start their journey into work as a Peer Support Worker. The course was run over six weeks and topics covered include:

  • Recovery principles
  • Understanding mental illness
  • Workplace communication and culture
  • The peer worker-client relationship
  • Stigma around mental illness
  • Sharing your experience safely

10 participants completed the course this round and all gave positive feedback about their experience, with many expressing an interest in taking up volunteer opportunities or further study in the area. One participant summed it up by reporting that the course was “exactly what I’ve always wanted to do and aspire to be… it has literally guided me out of the rut I was in and into a prosperous future”. Rise hopes that all participants will use their new skills, knowledge and understanding to pursue opportunities in the mental health sector.

Rise would like to thank the Mental Illness Fellowship of Western Australia (MIFWA) for their ongoing support of course delivery in 2015. The course facilitators, Michael Akkermans (Rise) and Margaret Emmelhainz (MIFWA) were complimented by all participants on their professionalism, friendly and approachable nature and vast knowledge of the topics.

If you are interested in next year’s Introduction to Peer Work Course, register your interest at contactMH@risenetwork.com.au to attend the Information Session. More information about the course can be found here.

More opportunities for young people to learn to drive thanks to new sponsor

Rise member of staff standing in front of black car which is parked in a field

We are pleased to announce that RACV Salary Solutions, as part of their Good Citizen initiative, has sponsored Rise in the delivery of the Drive Up Program.

The Drive Up program support young people to get a driving licence. Being able to drive makes such a difference to young people as it enables them to get to their place of learning or employment. Without a licence they may find this difficult.

As part of this program, we provide the assistance for two important steps to obtaining a driving licence as follows:

  1. Facilitate a ‘Key’s for Life’ training to obtain their Learner’s permit. This is for those aged between the ages of 15-25. Courses run throughout the year
  2. Provide driving lessons with a qualified instructor for young people aged. This is provided for those between the ages of 17-25

In 2015, 27 young people accessed the program. Six young people already had their Learner’s Permit and completed the training for safe driver education and to access driving lessons. In addition, 21 young people took part in the ‘Keys for Life’ training, with 100% passed rate. A further 16 young people accessed Driving Lessons.

Through the use of the kind donation from RACV, we will be able to provide more opportunities for young people to obtain a learners permit and driving lessons in 2016.

Thank you RACV!



There is some eligibility criteria in accessing this assistance. For more information, call us on (08) 6274 3700 or email contactY@risenetwork.com.au.

Volunteer breakfast celebration

Rise staff holding up pieces of paper with the letters spelling 'THANK YOU VOLUNTEERS'To reward and celebrate our volunteers, and to coincide with International Volunteer Day, Rise hosted a lovely breakfast at the Mundaring Dome on the morning of 27 November.

Laughter, stories and delicious food was shared amongst volunteers and staff who work alongside them.

Selection of images from volunteer breakfast. Includes volunteers being presented with rewards and enjoying breakfast together

On behalf of the people we support and all of our staff I would like to personally thank all of our wonderful and committed volunteers for their smiles and efforts, you add a value to our programs that money can’t match.

We look forward to many more stories!

Natasha Zeplin, HR Officer  

Youth team show support for White Ribbon Day

People at the White Ribbon March hold colourful banners in support of the cause in an outdoor space to help raise awareness and prevent violence against womenWhite Ribbon Day is a male-led campaign that raises awareness and sets out to prevent men’s violence against women. The event took place on 25 November and the Youth team got involved at the White Ribbon March in Juniper Square, Midland.

The team had a stall at the local Midland event and gave out Rise goodies, raising awareness of the services Rise offers whilst also supporting and getting involved with march.


More about White Ribbon Day

White Ribbon Day came about following a tragic event which took place in December 1989. A man walked into the École Polytechnique University in Montreal and massacred 14 of his female classmates. His actions traumatised a nation and brought the issue of violence against women to the forefront of our collective consciousness.

Two years later, a handful of men in Toronto decided they had a responsibility to speak out about and work to stop men’s violence against women.  As a result, the White Ribbon Campaign in Canada became an annual awareness-raising event, held between 25 November and 6 December.

In 1999, the United Nations General Assembly declared 25 November as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, with a white ribbon as its iconic symbol.

White Ribbon began in Australia in 2003 as part of UNIFEM (now UN Women).

Violence against women is a serious problem in Australia where:

  • Over 12 months, on average, one woman is killed every week as a result of intimate partner violence
  • A woman is most likely to be killed by her male partner in her home
  • Domestic and family violence is the principle cause of homelessness for women and their children
  • Intimate partner violence is the leading contributor to death, disability and ill-health in Australian women aged 15-44
  • One in three women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence perpetrated by someone known to them
  • One in four children are exposed to domestic violence,which is a recognised form of child abuse
  • The cost of violence against women to the Australian economy is estimated to rise to $15.6 billion per annum
  • One in five women experience harassment within the workplace
  • One in five women over 18 has been stalked during her lifetime

Be a White Ribbon Supporter and be active, be aware and speak up – visit the website to get involved.

Reference: Australian Bureau of Statistics

Rise Disability Advisory Committee launched

Two participants and Justin O’Meara Smith standing in front of Rise Purpose, Vision and Values

Parents Isolde Benaddi and Sabrina How (L-R) join Divisional Manager Justin O’Meara Smith for the first meeting

Over the past three years Rise has been on a journey to enhance the quality of our services and foster a culture that puts the people we support at the centre of decision making.  We have had great progress with our staff who have embraced the person centred approach. As a result, we have seen positive outcomes for the people we support. We have also identified some areas for improvement in how we involve people we support and their families in the development of our services.

We sought to address this gap through the introduction our Disability Advisory Committee. In September invitations to join the Committee were sent to the people we support and their families. Three parents expressed an interest and attended the first meeting in November. We would like to thank Sabrina How, Isolde Benaddi and Bethlyn Jarvis for their interest in joining the Committee and helping us to better understand the needs of the people we support and their family and carers.

The purpose of the Disability Advisory Committee is to create a forum for Rise to hear from families about their expectations of us as a service provider and provide feedback that helps us to develop quality services that are both person centred and also meet the needs of families and carers. The introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) means that there is a significant change in how services are developed, designed and delivered.  The Committee will help Rise to understand the needs and perspectives of families as we update our NDIS services, policies and procedures.

After getting to know each other and understanding roles and expectations there were three key themes identified by the Committee:

  • Identify strategies to improve communication with and between families
  • The importance of developing documentation, policies and procedures that are easy to read and can meaningfully involve people we support and their families
  • Understanding the NDIS, setting goals, outcomes and how funding works

Management and staff from the People with Disability division will use this feedback to inform our planning for service improvement and transitioning to the NDIS in 2016.

We continue to invite nominations to the Committee from any person we support, family or carer.  If you would like to get involved, have any questions or feedback please contact Justin O’Meara Smith on (08) 6274 3763 or email justin.omearasmith@risenetwork.com.au


Car donation makes Rise client’s day


car in foreground with beach and sea in background and umbrella set up‘I don’t know what to say’ were the words of one of Rise’s mental health clients when our outreach support worker Nat McWhinney informed her that she was being offered a free car to have.

The Rise client, who came to us through the Youthlink program and has been a part of the housing stimulus program since the beginning of 2015. She is currently focusing on study and traineeship options and was overwhelmed at the generosity of the Shurman family who were donating the car.

The car that was donated to Rise was a 1990 Toyota Corona. It had previously been owned by Mr Shurman’s mother. Mrs Shurman, who recently celebrated her 90th birthday, was no longer able to drive so the family thought it would be best to donate the car to a charity that could use it.

Our client had been using her trusty mountain bike as a mode of transport to make it to appointments and meetings in the city. A lot of Rise’s clients are on a disability pension and are unable to afford cars, therefore relying heavily on public transport. This in itself can be problematic, with some clients having social anxiety issues and relying on public transport can be too much for them, resulting in missed appointments and further isolation barriers.

Our client told Rise that she is very excited to have the opportunity to finish accumulating her learner driver hours and then will have reliable transport to start Technical and Further Education (TAFE) in the new year of the traineeship that she’s been shortlisted for. ‘So many job adverts require you to have a car, so now I can apply for more jobs and make sure if I go to TAFE, I can make all of my classes’.

Outreach support worker Nat said ‘having transport is such an important tool in our clients’ recovery journey. Our clients can feel very isolated sometimes when they move into our properties and their old social networks are no longer close by’.

Rise would like to extend our utmost gratitude to the Shurman family for their lovely donation of a car for one of our clients.

Casual Swimming Group Introduced for Summer

Underwater view of swimming pool with lanesRise Network Mental Health Services are running a casual swimming group every fortnight during the summer from 12:30pm – 1:30pm on a Thursday at Swan Park Leisure Centre.

The aim of the group is to increase physical fitness and socialisation for people in the community.

Rise will cover the entry fee for eligible participants. You must register your interest as places are limited to 8 per session.

To register, or for more information, contact Bethany on 0417 928 071 or email bethany.comley@risenetwork.com.au. Download our flyer here.