A move which would amalgamate one of Warrnambool’s peak mental health services with another organisation has been given the green light.
Aspire, which was established in 1989, will be taken over by Mental Illness Fellowship Victoria after a majority of the organisation voted to support the change.
The move follows significant changes and reforms, including to state government funding for psychiatric rehabilitation and support services. Eighty per cent of Aspire’s state-based funding is for such services.
The changes will make CEO Claire Vissenga redundant, but she said it would mean better mental health services for the south-west.
Ms Vissenga said the organisation now had an overwhelming mandate to pursue the changes.
She said initially there were some members who were concerned by the proposal and feared the organisation could lose its identity, but there had been a lot of work done to assure members that that wouldn’t be the case.
Ms Vissenga said the transition period would take about nine months but there would be no changes or differences for clients.
“Over the next few months the transition arrangements will be finalised and implemented with a view to MI Fellowship assuming management of the Aspire services across south-west Victoria and Tasmania by the first of July, 2014,” she said.
“The community mental health sector is in the midst of reform and the changes are for the better. The amalgamation will ensure the communities we serve continue to receive great services.”
Aspire board chairman Rob Pearce said it was a great outcome for the organisation, which provided excellent services.
“Our mission will continue, our services will grow stronger, our participants will continue to receive quality services and our staff will continue their work,” he said.