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Personal Helpers and Mentors

PHaMs is a program that supports people whose lives are severely affected by a severe mental illness.  We provide practical one-to-one assistance to people severely impacted by mental illness, aged 16 years and over, to help them achieve their personal goals, develop better relationships with family and friends, and manage their everyday tasks, including assisting PHaMs participants to access the NDIS.  Participants are assisted to access services and participate economically and socially in the community, increasing their opportunities for recovery.

The major focus of Personal Helpers and Mentors (PHaMs) service delivery is on assisting program participants to access the NDIS.

To do this we will;

  • support recovery for people severely impacted by mental illness
  • reduce their social isolation, and
  • improve their employment outcomes.

This is achieved by providing intensive one-to-one support to people severely impacted by mental illness to increase:

  • access to appropriate support services at the right time
  • personal capacity, confidence and self-reliance
  • the ability to manage daily activities, and
  • community participation (both social and economic).


We focus on strengths – what people with mental illness can do rather than what they can’t do.

We focus on recovery – demonstrating that people with mental illness can lead a fulfilled life in the community with the same opportunities as other people.

When you join the program you will work with your own Personal Helper and Mentor who will support you on your recovery journey.

Who is not eligible to participate in the PHaMs Program?

Participants may be considered ineligible to participate in PHaMs if when they:

  • Don’t live within the postcode boundaries of the site (except in special circumstances)
  • Have been assessed by Personal Helpers and Mentors Program as not having a severe functional limitation resulting from a mental illness
  • Are unable to make an informed decision to participate
  • Refuse to provide informed consent for data to be collected to be provided to DSS for program purposes
  • Are unwilling or unable to address drug and alcohol dependency issues
  • Receive assistance from residential mental health services, or are an in-patient or resident of a psychiatric or acute care hospital, or specialised drug and/or alcohol treatment facility.
  • Are currently in custody and there are unable to access the program

Recovery Handbook 2014

Residential Recovery Program

We know that isolation, loneliness and social exclusion are sad but common issues faced by people with mental health issues. Our homes offer residents a comfortable and homely opportunity to live alongside people, begin to make friends, regain and build on strengths and connect with the community.

RFACT long to medium term supported accommodation program has a number of shared houses  across the ACT.  Staff are available on site 24 hours a day. All homes are close to local amenities and public transport. Residents will be supported by experienced and qualified staff to support and develop the skills and capabilities to live independently. Support provided will be based on the use of the recovery star assessment and a plan will be developed prioritising resident needs and wishes.
We focus on individual resident aspirations and assist them to live the life they wish to live. We take a recovery focused approach in supporting residents to:
• be active and central to decisions about their support and have as much control over this support as possible;
• take part in activities they determine and value;
• live in accommodation that promotes their dignity, independence and recovery; and
• achieve new levels of self-confidence and independence.

Eligiblity Criteria:

  • Have a mental illness with associated psychosocial disability.
  • Be eligible for the NDIS scheme and require 24/7 support at the standard level such as assistance with daily tasks, developing independence skills, behaviour support etc.
  • Actively and willingly receive support from RF staff and clinical service providers.
  • Be willing to participate in house hold tasks and meetings.

Partners in Recovery

PIR is a flexible community based recovery service where a Support Facilitator coordinates all clinical and community support services delivered to people experiencing severe and persistent mental illness with complex needs.  Our Support Facilitator will work with you to identify your needs and goals and will be guided by your wishes and by what is important to you.  Support Facilitators also support participants transition to NDIS.

NDIS Support Coordination and other supports

Richmond Fellowship ACT provides a number of supports funded through an individual’s NDIS plan. These include;

  • Support Coordination – this service will benefit people whorequire active and ongoing support due to their episodic and complex needs. It includes assistance with sourcing and linking people with the right providers to meet their needs, coordinating these supports, resolving crises and building on developing participant resilience in their own network and community.
  • Capacity Building – individual skills development and training to support community, social and recreational participation and working towards personal recovery goals.
  • Assistance to access to community, social and recreational activities – provision of support to enable
    participants to independently engage in community, social and recreational activities.