2019-2020 has been a significant year for MyLocalMind Inc. and Fremantle-based subsidiary FremantleMind Inc. We evolved from a fledgling mental health promotion charity staffed purely by passionate volunteers into an established, broadly known, and well-respected community mental health service provider in the South Metropolitan region of Perth. 2019-2020 was a year like no other with the word ‘unprecedented’ becoming common vernacular as a consequence of the COVID-19 global pandemic. True to our ethos of being nuanced and responsive to the needs of our local community, MyLocalMind Inc. and FremantleMind Inc. successfully adapted to the ever-changing local, statewide, national, and global context. Indeed, the effectiveness of our organizational approach and the passion of our organization was recognised with nominations for multiple awards including the WA Association of Mental Health Awards, Fremantle Chamber of Commerce Business Awards, and the Community Citizen of the Year Awards.

With respect to our community engagement and service provision, we were able to connect with 500 community members, providing 1950 service contacts purely with volunteers via both face-to-face and online mediums. We provided free non-clinical services in addition to our first suite of Medicare-funded services to both adults and youth. We were additionally able to foster multiple meaningful and semi-regular funding streams, in the form of fee-for-service training, free-for-service in reach and school-based programs, that we will continue to develop in 2020-2021 and beyond. These fee-for-service funding streams have the dual benefit of supporting our financial sustainability whilst ensuring we maintain our values of supporting the mental health and wellbeing of our local community.

With respect to community service networking, we became members of a number of major local community service networks. We are now members of the Imagined Futures Leadership Group in addition to the Imagined Futures Youth Initiative Working Group, the Fremantle-Rockingham Family Support Network, the Cockburn-Melville-Fremantle Youth Forum, and the South Metropolitan Strategic Homelessness Working Group. Moreover, we continue to be involved with the Suicide Prevention Development Group, Suicide Postvention Development Group, and the State Sports and Inclusion Network.

With respect to partnerships, we continue to build formal and informal partnerships with a number of emerging partners of small to large size. We hope to formalize a number of these major partnerships in 2020-2021 to the benefit of the mental health and wellbeing of our local community and to support the long-term sustainability of our organization.

With respect to special initiatives, we established the Fremantle Alliance Against Depression and supported the transition of this network to the Imagined Futures Alliance Against Depression that now spans Cockburn-Melville-Fremantle local government areas. This alliance supports the integration of the local community mental health system, as demonstrated by the successful World Mental Health Day event coordinated by FremantleMind Inc. and attended by 25 local organizations.

With respect to funding, we were successful in achieving grants from each level of government and from private commercial, non-government not-for-profit, and philanthropic funding bodies. With the recent development of a strategic grants committee, we are hopeful that more significant and multi-year grant funding will be achieved in the 2020-2021 year.

2019-2020 was a challenging but important year for MyLocalMind Inc. and FremantleMind Inc. Globally it will be remembered as the year COVID-19 changed our lives. For MyLocalMind Inc. and FremantleMind Inc. it will be remembered as the year that our organizations took important and significant steps towards becoming financially sustainable and being recognized throughout our local area as a core community mental health service that places the needs of the community before anything else. In 2020-21 our organization will continue to develop with the establishment of paid Administrative Coordinator and Executive Officer roles, in addition to the transition to a formal Board with over 100 cumulative years of experience within the health system; such changes will support the longevity of our organization. The formulation of a strategic review by an independent consultant additionally now guides our pathway in 2020-21 and beyond to become a sustainable and meaningful mental health promotion charity that broadly impacts the mental health and wellbeing of our local community. Our ever-passionate team is eagerly pursuing all avenues to ensure that 2020-21 is the year that we achieve financial sustainability whilst continuing to have a broad and enduring positive impact on our local community.