Hayley’s Journey Inspires Advocacy to Bring Back Personal Helpers and Mentors (PHaMs).
Hayley Harris is a passionate mental health trainer, facilitator, speaker, and advocate who is actively working to make a difference in the mental health sector. Hayley was a consumer of the Personal Helpers and Mentors (PHaMS) program from 2009-2011. Prior to PHaMs, Hayley was unable to leave her house due to debilitating mental health issues.
“When I turned 17, life became overwhelming, and I shut down. I left school, isolated myself from my family, stopped talking to friends, and withdrew from the world. For 18 months, I remained confined to my home, spiraling deeper into despair. I had no hope for my future.”
But thanks to PHaMs, Hayley’s life turned around. She was able to set goals for her future, began leaving the house, and engaged in hobbies she had previously loved. These experiences have motivated Hayley to become a vocal advocate for change within the mental health sector.
Just last month, Hayley took the opportunity to address Parliament House, sharing insights into her mental health journey. During her speech, she unveiled a new campaign called ‘Bring Back PHaMs’, which aims to advocate for the reinstatement of the PHaMs service.
Without PHaMs, I wouldn’t have left my house, repaired relationships with my family, or found employment in the mental health field. Without PHaMs, I would not be alive today.Hayley Harris
What is PHaMS?
PHaMs was initially launched in July 2006 and operated successfully for over 10 years with funding from the Australian Government. However, due to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) taking priority, the government made the decision to withdraw funding for PHaMs. As a result, since 2019, the PHaMs program has not been operational.
PHaMs specifically catered to people with severe mental illness who faced difficulties living independently due to the impact of their condition. The PHaMs program provided support to people in managing their daily activities and accessing necessary services.
It focused on personal recovery, building capacity, promoting self-reliance, and increasing community participation. Participation in the program had no time limit, and a formal diagnosis was not required. Referrals to the PHaMs could come from any source, including self-referral. PHaMs was quick and easy to access.
Bring Back PHaMs is actively advocating for the reinstatement of the PHaMs program and seeks support from the community to achieve this goal. In order to communicate the importance of PHaMS to government, Bring Back PHaMs aims to capture the success stories of the PHaMs program, in addition, the campaign wants to show decision-makers how many people are in support of bringing back PHaMs.
Support Bring Back PHaMs:
To show your support for this campaign, Bring Back PHaMs invites community members to:
• Share their personal experiences with PHaMs.
• Sign the Bring Back PHaMs petition
• Speak to your local government representative about PHaMs.
If you would like to sign the petition, share your story or learn more about the campaign, please visit www.bringbackphams.com.