The Evolution of Well Creative Minds …
This time last year, if someone told me I would have a team of support workers, and Well Creative Minds would be where it is today, I wouldn’t believe it.
Not then at least. At that time, I was graduating after 4 years studying Psychology, preparing to begin my internship as a Provisionally Registered Psychologist.
I was preparing to commence an internship and awaiting on my registration to come through, I already had a lot going on and was not thinking of doing anything else!
Although, I had already been working as a psychosocial worker for a couple of years independently by this point, it was something I knew I’d not have the capacity to continue doing..the travel and the direct one to one work, on top of working as a Provisional Psych.
As I was making plans and mentally/emotionally preparing myself to disengage from this work, someone close to me suggested to me, “Why don’t you hire someone suitable to take over..”.
It was not in me to just abandon the people I’d grown to value and support like that, one of whom I had been working consistently with for almost 2 years so I seriously considered this for a couple of months …
The participants who I had got to know, were some of my greatest teachers in learning first hand about the perspective and experiences from those I spent a lot of time with, often 7 hours a week with each participant and their families.
Over the years I’d already heard so many very similar awful experience first hand, from some of the participants I’d been working with. I knew if I were to have my own team, I already knew what NOT to do, what participants are looking for and needing and how to fulfil the gap..
If I was going to do this, I would do it differently. I’d make sure everyone from the director, management, admin and support workers all needed to be well versed in mental health with similar values or at least the right attitude, in wanting to provide a safe, empowering supportive space for participants and their families. It was also important to me (and still is), that those who are referred to us, would be a good fit, in that we would be able to appropriately provide services to meet their needs.
I did not want to be like so many other providers, who work with any and as many participants as possible and simply match them with anyone and often different workers every week like a revolving door.
I had already witnessed first hand the negligent treatment and negative impact this had on participants and the stress it caused to so many families, because of the lack of experience, trauma awareness and mental health knowledge that became apparent in this industry. And it really saddened me. What is the point, if the service being provided is not helping anyone.
So the idea was planted. Word got out. And before I knew it, the demand and referrals grew!
And so one person on the team, became 2, became 3…and within 10 months, we had more than 10 support workers, covering Sydney, Blue Mountains and the Central Coast areas!
In the beginning …
It was during the first covid lockdown and I had a creative itch I needed to scratch. I’ve always been a writer, and had previously worked professionally a ghost writer and blogger for years in another life before I started working in mental health.
I wanted to write again, and I wanted to connect others through story-telling during a time so many people were feeling isolated, even more so during the lock downs so I started a small project called Write To Heal where others could share their stories and I interviewed other people about their challenges with mental health. It was a cathartic experience for me too. Writing or any type of creative expression can have that effect.
Soon, I thought of the idea to merge this with the work I was already doing as an independent support worker and that is how the name Well Creative Minds came about, which is short for Wellbeing, Creativity and Mental Health.
These are all areas I am most passionate about, and believe they are all interconnected and have a significant impact on each other. For example, creativity is incredibly healing and has a positive impact on your wellbeing and in turn your mental health benefits too.
By then I had already over a decades experience working in the holistic and health space through various roles, starting as a remedial massage therapist then later working in digital marketing helping healers and helping professionals share their message…
Helping others was always something I knew I wanted to do, and each job I have had was in some way or another about helping others. As it is with a lot of us who do similar type of work, most have lived experience or have gone through adversity and other mental health challenges themselves – it makes us more empathetic and able to connect on that deeper level.
it gives me great reward when I get to witness people feeling inspired and empowered to take direction and the steps to build a life for themselves that give them meaning, purpose and a sense of wellbeing in all areas.
Becoming a psychologist is just one part of the bigger picture. Being able to facilitate a space to help more people, and create a lasting impact & difference in people’s lives is where the real reward is and it has truly been a privilege and an incredible experience to be part of that..
Where we are now …
Well Creative Minds has evolved so much already in the last year. My intention at the time was to fulfil an existing demand and gap in the NDIS. Never did I dream it would grow to where we are now!
We have grown a team of people with not only excellent credentials, life and professional experience but also lived experience to be able to serve the community and meet our participants needs by providing an all rounded, informed, comprehensive and collaborative service.
Until recently, myself and management have put in a lot of work and hours behind the scenes to set up systems, and processes to ensure daily operations run smoothy, our team are looked after and our clients are receiving the care and support they need. During this time, we have built relationships with our clients, their families, and their support coordinators, while developing a great rapport with everyone we get to work with, which is one of the things I most enjoy about doing this work.
Sophie who has been with us since day one, and has in recent months been promoted to team leader and support services manager, has been helping me a lot and working hard to ensure our ethos and values are reflected in all that we do from supporting our team, to working closely with our network of referrers and building strong relationships with our clients, their families and loved ones..
Recently, we have also partnered up with The LookOut Way and invested in a digital care management platform to boost our team’s efficiency, and provide a way for our participants, their support coordinators, allied health and families to collaborate and communicate directly with their care team more effectively.
In addition, In January 2023 after reviewing hundreds of applications, we now have a lovely admin support team available to assist our clients every day of the week!
This has allowed me to focus on completing my internship externally over the next 18 months while having a dedicated management and admin support team available to assist our team, participants, and their loved ones. Whilst we have many ideas for what is possible in the future, our primary focus continues to provide quality niche psychosocial support services, including recovery coaching to participants.
We would not be the Organisation we are today without the passion & unwavering dedication of our employees to our participants. We value the contributions made by each individual & strive for a workplace that is an employer of choice in the region. We also strive to be the top choice Psychosocial Support Provider within the areas we operate and this is evident through the repeated referrals we receive from those who choose to work with us.
I am so proud of where Well Creative Minds is today, more importantly I am so proud of the team we have and the work they do with the participants whom we have had the pleasure to get to know over this last year.
It is an incredible honour and privilege to be able to continually witness everyones journey with us, and receive the positive feedback we do.
If you are someone who has recently started your journey with us, Thank You. It is my hope, it is a truly positive and fulfilling ongoing relationship with the Well Creative Minds Team.
Tess, Director and Founder