2018 in Review
2018 has been a very productive year for Reflex Social Services.
This year commenced with our director’s development retreat which resulted in a comprehensive revision of our service structure, our procedures, and our core message. This has lead to superior research and development cycles for us in 2018, and has lead us to be more selective about how we deliver programs to clients.
The first thing we did was redevelop our NDIS offerings, and to make a great deal more time available for campaigning for those who have been overlooked, under-serviced, or completely abandoned by the NDIS. We are thankful to local MPs and ombudsman officers for their work with us.
We are seeking public support as we go back through the Third Party Verification process to expand our outreach network inside the NDIS.
For our colleagues in the disability employment services, we have been developing educational resources for techniques on motivational interviewing in interactive and personalised ways (my heartfelt thanks to the staff of Castle Personnel for this work) We have also been developing industry specific burnout prevention, team building, crisis detection and analysis and practical mental health first aid interventions, and we are excited to roll out these programs in 2019.
We remain in contact with government officials, both state and federal, and with local police to roll out our emergency response systems and programs, for which public help and corporate sponsorship will be most invaluable.
We were most excited to add a new board member, Mr Richard Hill, Neuropsychotherapist, counsellor, linguist, international teacher and instructor, and editor of the Neuropsychotherapist journal. Richard’s amazing talents and guidance will be a great asset in our governance moving forward.
We also want to make mention of Mr Phillip Hough, counsellor, hypnotherapist and supervisor who has departed our board this year to focus on his own expanding client base. He remains one of our great mentors and supervisors, and his contributions have been invaluable.
Social Media Outreach
And perhaps most importantly of all, we have started, and are expanding our social media presence, not only to show you what we are doing, but to provide you with skills, insight and abilities to keep you well, make ourselves accessible to you at need, and, most importantly I believe, to help you tell your stories should you desire to do so!
We are in a predominantly text based format at the moment, but in the new year we will be venturing into audio, short form and video formats, which is exciting for us to be able to show you! (Even though it means we will have to be on camera :/ )
We are very proud of the things that we have achieved in 2018, and look forward to showing you what Reflex is capable of in 2019 and beyond.
A Personal Message from Damien
2018 has been an intense year; in very trying ways for some. Whilst it has been an intense and research heavy year for Reflex itself, we have had the honour of bearing witness to both great personal victories, as well as difficulties and struggles amongst our clients, as well as our colleagues and allies. Regardless, we have all survived! And we are proud not only of our work, but of the great efforts and resilience of all the people we work with.
As we draw into the festive season, it is important to remember our fellow Australians who are struggling, and have little to celebrate, be it through a lack of disposable funds for gift giving, a lack of food or housing, or perhaps most painfully of all a lack of loved ones and friends to share the season with. I invite you to consider doing your part to help, whether its through services like the giving trees at Kmart or similar, a small donation to your local charities, or perhaps you might like to do something personal, like volunteering in a soup kitchen or respite service. Every little thing we can do makes a difference to someone with nothing — a hello, and some conversation can mean the world. To support if you have no cash, Alicia recently wrote a solid article on non-financial support which can make a huge difference to NGOs, give it a look at the link below.
And from me to you, however you should choose to celebrate, and with whom, I pray that you will know love this season, and have the chance to rest and reflect. To consider all the lessons of the year, and emerge strong and wiser into the challenges and joys of 2019. There is no path to love and peace — they are the path. Now I am off to eat my own weight in gluten free fruit mince pies. Every blessing to you all, and Merry Christmas.
A Personal Message from Alicia
2018 has been an… interesting year. It feels like it lasted for three years between January and June, and then about twenty minutes for the rest of it.
Sometimes it’s hard to keep perspective of everything we have achieved, experienced, and accomplished in the last year, not only as Reflex, but personally, too.
In the last year, we have moved ahead in leaps and bounds, redefined and refined the structure of the organisation and our own lives, and just as the world moves forward, so do we.
Around this time of year, I like to take stock and simplify things. I find it’s a pretty good approach to finding some perspective when looming deadlines, sensationalist headlines, and external demands make the path ahead intimidating.
This year, I’ve found that the best things for that are simple pleasures, good supports, and clear intentions. So, I took Santa’s advice, and made a list.
- I am proud of what Reflex has accomplished this year.
- I am grateful for the support and advocacy of our friends and families.
- I am curious to see what role Reflex has to play in our current political and social landscapes.
I hope you have an enjoyable and healthy Holiday period full of the people and things that you love.
If you are stressed and hurt by this time of year, I hope you can carve out the time to find the things that matter to you, and find out what you need to make this time easier to manage.
The good thing about time is that it keeps on moving forwards.
With the kindest of holiday wishes,
Director (Communications and Technology)
Reflex Social Services is an Australian nonprofit charity that delivers mental and social health services to people in need throughout Newcastle, the Central Coast and the Hunter Valley.
This publication, Flex-Ed, is a resource for the latest in mental and social health research and development.