NDIS improvements to help people with psychosocial disability

Update from Gerry Naughtin Strategic Adviser Mental Health NDIA – 10 October 2018.

NDIS improvements to help people with psychosocial disability

The improvements form the foundation of a new ‘psychosocial disability stream’ to be progressively implemented across Australia. This stream will map across both the NDIS standard pathway and the complex support needs pathway.

The key components of the psychosocial disability stream include: 

  • employing specialised planners and LACs to ensure participants have access to psychosocial expertise 
  • building workforce capability through training and the establishment of teams that include mental health expertise to support people engage with the NDIS and access the Scheme  
  • strengthening the connection between existing mental health services and NDIA staff and partners 
  • focusing on recovery-based planning and episodic needs 
  • assisting potential participants who are hard to reach to engage with the NDIA. 

This reform is a critical step forward. It addresses the sector’s key concerns and outlines a better way forward for the NDIS, based on recovery principles. It will prioritise the development of staff skill sets about the needs of people requiring mental health support. 

Importantly, the design of the new stream is the result of successful collaboration with Mental Health Australia and extensive engagement with participants, families and carers, government services, NDIA partners and providers. With the sector’s ongoing support, we are confident the NDIS will now more specifically address the support and communication needs of participants with psychosocial disability. 

The new stream incorporates the majority of the 29 recommendations made by Mental Health Australia The new psychosocial disability stream is part of a range of work being undertaken by the NDIA to improve the NDIS pathways—the experience participants and providers have with the NDIS.  

The media release about these changes is available at https://ndis.gov.au/news/mental-health-announcement.html   

I will continue to keep the National Mental Health Sector Reference Group updated as more detail becomes available. You are welcome to share this email with your networks.  

If you need further information about the proposed changes in the meantime, please contact me.

Yours sincerely,

Gerry Naughtin

Strategic Adviser Mental Health

Strategic Advice, Research and Inclusion Division

National Disability Insurance Agency

T  0406 532 486    E  Gerry.Naughtin2@ndis.gov.au