Member of the Month – April 2020

Stride is our April Member of the Month!

Each month we will be highlighting the value and diversity of our members and the fantastic work they do in the community mental health sector.

Read on below to learn more about Aftercare.

Please tell us a little bit about your organisation.

We’ve been known as Aftercare for more than 113 years.  And we are transforming.  We’ve recently changed our name from Aftercare to Stride.

Stride is a name that recognises our clients’ journeys and that all big achievements start with small steps.

We are a specialist mental health provider that focuses on adults with persistent and complex needs, as well as childhood mental health and early intervention.

What are three words to describe your organisation?

We are 100% dedicated to providing specialist services which improve the lifelong mental health of children, young people and adults.

We work alongside our clients and their families and carers, to help people with complex needs live better.

Stride reflects our ethos of quality and innovation in our focus on both the prevention and treatment of mental health conditions – building on the work we do with families and communities to roll out more evidence-based services across Australia.

How/why/when did your organisation get started?

In 1907 Emily Paterson established the After Care Association as a way to support people who were left to cope on their own after they were released from mental health hospitals.

Over a century later and Stride has changed and grown to provide 50 services across three states, partnering with several health networks, government and social services.

Despite this transformation, those first principles set down by Emily remain with us as we work to make today a little easier, and tomorrow a little brighter.

 What inspires your work and what sets your organisation apart from everyone else?

Our inspiration is our clients.  We work hard to help people with mental health concerns and set them on a path to find motivation, resilience, and ultimately, their strength.

Our long track record in working with people with persistent and complex needs, and our growing focus on early intervention for children and young people, defines the essence of what Stride stands for.

Where does your organisation provide services? What type of services are offered?

We’re located predominantly in NSW and QLD, and regional VIC.  We offer a broad range of services specialising in working with people with complex needs.

Our services include residential facilities for adults and young people, community outreach services and Stride Hubs, drop in centres that offer holistic support to people with mental health concerns.  We are one of the largest providers of headspace and also operate two LikeMind centres in NSW.

Stride is also an NDIS service provider with services offered across NSW, QLD and regional VIC.

How many employees do you have? How many offices, and where are they located?

We have more than 650 employees across 50+ locations.  These service sites are located throughout QLD and NSW, and in Bendigo VIC.

 How has your organisation changed over the last few years – and what has driven this change?

Stride has changed substantially in the last few years.  A key change has been our three year strategy with a focus on four priority areas:

  1. Intervene Early – to innovate and expand our work with children, young people and families and becoming a leading provider for this cohort.
  2. Support Wellbeing – to ensure our support for people with persistent mental illness and complex needs is best practice, locally seamless and utilises the right mix of capabilities.
  3. Best People – to attract, build and support a sector leading specialist mental health workforce so that we are an employer of choice.
  4. Learn and Influence – to build our evidence base, learning systems and influence so that we can improve our services, prove the impact we create and share it.

Another change has been the introduction of the NDIS.  This has driven much growth and opportunity and allowed Stride to demonstrate its innovation in service delivery models.

 Looking forward, what do you see as the main challenges/opportunities for your organisation, and why?

Mental health is increasingly spoken about publicly and government is starting to respond.  This is an opportunity for the sector.  Stride’s focus on childhood mental health and ongoing development of our service models for those with complex needs is our opportunity to reach and help people with mental illness.

Challenges related to NDIS pricing and the underlying cost model are being addressed by Stride in partnership with other mental health service providers.

Tell us something about your organisation that most people wouldn’t know? 

That we’ve been around for so long!

If there are any upcoming events or information you would like us to promote, please provide details (e.g. date, time, venue, weblink).

Stride has partnered with KidsXpress to promote the urgent need for mental health services for infants, children and families.

A child’s unaddressed trauma and psychological distress results in significant lifelong mental ill health.  Did you know:

  • 1 in 7 Australian children are exposed to toxic levels of stress due to issues such as domestic violence, bullying, loss and neglect
  • More than 75% of children with mental health issues do not access any kind of mental health service

Stride highlights that half of all mental illness has its origins in childhood before the age of 14.

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