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nfphub Sounding Board – Member Profile – April 2014

Introducing: Helen McMullan, the Programs Manager of Mental Illness Fellowship South Australia (MIFSA) and a nfphub Sounding Board Member.

Tell us a bit about your professional career.

I joined MIFSA in January 2013 to support and oversee the four Activity Program sites at Wayville, Panangga (Christies Beach), Port Lincoln (Eyre) and Mannum. I have worked fairly extensively with people with disabilities as well as high and complex needs brought about due to a range of individual and social disadvantages. I am a Social Worker and a Developmental Educator in Applied Science and have worked in employment, case management and aged care in health, disability and mental health sectors.

I perform a broad strategic role in planning and program management and implementation, with a focus on continuous quality improvement. I’m passionate about my work and the people I works with and enjoy the positive culture at MIFSA that aligns with my own values and vision for “Sharing the Journey”.

Tell us a bit about your organisation.

MIFSA is a community based, nfp organisation delivering a range of programs and services for people affected by mental illness, carers and the community.

MIFSA understands that a diagnosis of mental illness affects families and loved ones as well as the individual and provides support, education, counselling and respite for carers, families and friends. All programs are delivered with the input and participation of people who themselves live with mental illness.

Originally named The Schizophrenia Fellowship of SA and formed in 1983, the name changed to MIFSA in 2002 to reflect the organisation’s scope in dealing with the needs of all South Australians living with mental illness.

Your career highlight would be?

My passion for positive mental health has taken me on a wonderful path and I look forward to embracing the opportunities ahead.

The biggest challenge of being a Programs Manager is?

Keeping all the balls in the air! The opportunities and priorities of leading a vibrant and innovative team provides many project development proposals, strategic planning and dynamic participants who co-design our programs. The landscape is constantly changing!

The thing that gets you out of bed in the morning is?

Appreciating the beautiful sunrises each morning is a bonus when I am rowing and having some ‘me time’ on the water before heading off to an organisation that promotes acceptance of mental illness and responds with confidence, respect and hope. The MIFSA culture is truly inspiring!

For more information about MIFSA please visit here.

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