Partners in Recovery legacy will live on

Last month, staff and service providers gathered to celebrate the end of an era as the North Brisbane Partners in Recovery initiative wound up, following six years working to improve outcomes for people experiencing severe and persistent mental illness with complex needs.

With the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), the program has come to an organic end as Partners in Recovery participants gradually transition to support under the NDIS or other community-based programs.

Since 2013, Partners in Recovery has provided service coordination for individuals within the Brisbane North and Moreton Bay region, working alongside people to help them receive personalised support.

Within the region Partners in Recovery was delivered by eight local service providers: Aftercare, Communify, Footprints, Institute of Urban Indigenous Health, Mental Illness Fellowship Queensland, Neami National, Open Minds, and Richmond Fellowship Queensland.

Staff from these organisations attended the recent celebration, along with other community representatives who were also part of the Partners in Recovery story.

Since the inception of the program, Partners in Recovery fielded over 5,000 referrals and supported nearly 3,000 participants by planning and working on recovery goals, finding the support and coordinating services.

In the year 2017/2018 Partners in Recovery supported 1,022 people.

As well as helping so many participants directly through service delivery, Partners in Recovery also coordinated and delivered a range of initiatives aimed at system reform and collaboration.

Among these initiatives, the team created several practical resources for use within the sector and developed My Mental Health, a service navigation website for North Brisbane.

Partners in Recovery delivered system reform initiatives including projects focused on affordable housing for people experiencing severe mental illness, as well as work which advocated for the voice of consumers.

Over the years, Partners in Recovery initiated forums, annual mental health expos, and collaborative work with Metro North Hospital and Health Service; all instrumental in helping build the capacity of the sector to better meet the needs of people with severe and complex mental illness.

System reform, sector collaboration and service navigation work will continue as part of the regional planning activities being undertaken by the Collaboration in Mind partnership group.

Brisbane North PHN is grateful to the Partners in Recovery agencies who worked to deliver services in the Brisbane North and Moreton Bay region and the PHN extends thanks to the Partners in Recovery managers who led the program through times of change: Pauline Coffey, Paul Martin and Kathy Faulkner.

For more information on Partners in Recovery visit

Pictured above: agencies and staff responsible for the management and delivery of the Partners in Recovery initiative at the final celebration in May 2019.