National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) & Mental Health
MHCC’s 2016 NDIS publications
The final publications of the June 2013 to 2016 ‘NDIS and Mental Health Analysis Partnership Project’ undertaken with the Mental Health Commission of NSW in the NSW Hunter NDIS trial site are now available.
Navigating the NDIS: Lessons Learned through the Hunter Trial
MHCC recognises the increasing interest in the NDIS impacts on people affected by mental health conditions and those that support them. In December 2014 the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) established a NDIS Mental Health Sector Reference Group and you can read more about their important work here.
The NDIS presents an important opportunity for people with high levels of psychosocial disability related to a mental health condition. Access information about activities undertaken by MHCC from 2011 to understand the experiences of people affected by mental health conditions and help prepare the community managed mental health sector for the NDIS by clicking on any of the links below.
MHCC will update this website from time to time to ensure that we are sharing with you what we are learning about mental health sector impacts of the NDIS. Relevant information will also be included in our sector reform newsletter and you can sign up for this here.
If you wish to discuss your experience of the NDIS in NSW please contact: Tina Smith, Senior Policy Advisory/Sector Development on firstname.lastname@example.org
MHCC Consultation Disability Support and Rehabilitation: Discussion Paper
With establishment of the NDIS the need to distinguish between the terms 'disability support' and 'rehabilitation' and the associated workforce skills, attitudes and knowledge required to support people with psychosocial disability has intensified.
In this paper, we explore the implications for comprehensive service coverage, in an environment where the role and function of the NDIS within the mental health service system is a developing picture.
This discussion paper poses questions throughout to encourage discussion and debate surrounding the implementation of the NDIS.
Please provide comment to Corinne Henderson email@example.com
Click below on orange headings for more information and to find NDIS samples
NSW NDIS Implementation 2016 to 2019
The scaling up of the NDIS in NSW over the next three years, beyond the three LGAs that made up the Hunter trial site over the next three years will be a massive undertaking. The NSW Government has a website about scaling up of the NDIS: https://www.ndis.gov.au/nsw The NSW focus is on the transition of Family and Community Services Ageing, Disability and Homecare (ADHC) clients. This is because the NSW government plans to close ADHC by July 2018.
NDIS will be rolled-out within NSW Local Health District areas between July 2016 and June 2018 will be according to the timetable below.
The NSW government NDIS website has little information about the entry of people with mental health conditions/psychosocial disability to the NDIS. Commonwealth mental health programs to be transitioned to the NDIS include:
Commonwealth mental health program clients are ‘new’ NDIS entrants. The number of Commonwealth mental health clients to access NDIS funded services and support is unknown as is the total numbers of these clients in NSW.MHCC believes that PIR has capacity for about 7,000 clients during 2013/16. PHaMS may have similar capacity. The NDIA will approach Commonwealth clients in NSW to have their NDIS eligibility considered.
There are concerns about ‘continuity of support’ arrangements for Commonwealth mental health clients that may be ineligible for NDIS funded services. MHCC continues to advocate for these people and the NSW organisations providing services to them.
The NDIS in NSW has capacity for about 57,000 new entrants of all disability types over the next three years as follows.
While the numbers of new entrants in 2016/17 is limited this increases from 2017/18. MHCC encourages members to identify and support people with very high levels of psychosocial disability who are not Commonwealth or NSW ADHC funded clients to access the NDIS. The following tools may be useful in this process.
Tools to support NDIS access:
Important note: This sample Access Request Form is for informational purposes only, not make an NDIS access request. To make an NDIS access request please contact the NDIA on 1800 800 100 or email them: see www.ndis.gov.au.
Sample 1 – Sample Support Letter (including information about impairment and functioning)
Important note: These sample plans are for informational purposes only and do not necessarily represent good practice in NDIS planning.
If you have sample plans and/or other tools to support people with psychosocial disability in their NDIS access that you wish to share please contact MHCC.
NDIS & the NSW Ombudsman: Quality & Safeguards
MHCC continue to hold a watching brief on the political and legislative environment affecting the roll-out of the NDIS. A particular focus will be the development of quality and safeguard mechanisms and the continuity of service provision to people ineligible under the NDIS criteria. The following papers may be helpful in understanding the role of the NSW Ombudsman during NDIS implementation
2013/16 Hunter NDIS and Mental Health Analysis Partnership Project and Community of Practice (COP) Forum
MHCC NDIS Papers & Submissions
NDIS Psychosocial Disability On-Line Resource Development
NDIA has funded MHCC to develop a NDIS Psychosocial Disability On-Line Resource. This is being co-designed with people affected by mental health conditions and will be available in 2017.
The NDIA are making these resources available to their staff to increase understanding of people’s journeys of recovery:
MHCC work closely with Community Mental Health Australia (CMHA) and Mental Health Australia (MHA) to participate in a range of activities related to better understanding the inclusion of people with mental health conditions in the NDIS
TheMHS Learning Network Conference – August
MHCC presented two NDIS related papers:
This paper described establishment of the Hunter NDIS and Mental Health Community of Practice (CoP) as a major achievement of the ‘NSW NDIS and Mental Health Analysis Partnership Project’. It highlighted the high impact of the NDIS on people with a psychosocial disability and those that provide services and supports to them at the NSW trial site in the Hunter. MHCC established the CoP to harness learning and opportunities arising from the NDIS, from a mental health perspective. MHCC describes rationale and approach in establishing the CoP along with its value and achievements.
National NDIS implementation means that the pace of change and learning will also escalate. This will now occur in association with national mental health reform through Primary Health Networks (PHNs). The way in which both non-government community-managed organisations and front line mental health practitioners, both government and non-government, are being effected in this environment was considered. It was put forward that CoP provide a place for the workforce providing services to people with mental health conditions to gather and reflect on the changes occurring as a result of NDIS implementation and mental health reform.
This paper described 2015 work undertaken by MHCC on behalf of CMHA to implement a ‘Community Managed Mental Health Sector NDIS Workforce Development Scoping Paper Project’. The MHA NDIS Capacity Building Project’ subcontracted this activity to MHCC on behalf of CMHA (funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services NDIS Sector Development Fund). Human Capital Alliance worked with us to undertake research to explore workforce impacts and readiness at the two year mark of NDIS implementation. The methodology included literature scan, key interviews and survey of 34 organisations providing services to people with mental health conditions nationally.
MHCC presented some of the seven findings and ten recommendations in the context of NDIS implementation and national mental health reform policy and funding directions. A key tension arising related to the financial viability of the pricing of NDIS services and supports with some stakeholders arguing that the pricing is not sufficient to purchase a suitably skilled workforce that engages in complex ‘cognitive behavioural interventions’ as well as direct personal care. The recommendations will be used to further pursue opportunities arising through the 2015 ‘NDIS Integrated Market, Sector and Workforce Strategy’ and forthcoming ‘NDIS Workforce Innovation Fund’.
MHCC was actively engaged with the following projects:
MHCC was the lead agency, on behalf of Community Mental Health Australia, in undertaking this national MHA NDIS Capacity Building Project activity. The final report makes seven findings and ten recommendations related to community managed mental health sector workforce development needs and issues.
Access the report here.
MHCC anticipates a public report on the activity of this NDIA Mental Health Sector Reference Group Working G project.
The Western Australian Association for Mental Health (WAAMH) led this CMHA activity funded through the MHA NDIS Capacity Building Project. MHCC anticipates a public report.
On Monday 7 September 2015 MHCC launched a publication at their members only ‘Getting Ready for the NDIS’ Forum held in Sydney. The report can be accessed here:
The report describes MHCC’s experiences and observations from a NSW community managed mental health sector trial site perspective across the first two years of NDIS implementation from June 2013 to 2015. During this time, MHCC undertook a ‘NDIS and Mental Health Partnership Project’ in partnership with the Mental Health Commission of NSW. MHCC acknowledges the contributions of mental health consumers, families and carers and service providers to the consultative processes conducted during the course of this project which is, we are pleased to announce, continuing in 2015/16.
We hope that the publication has value for people in their preparation for full roll-out of the NDIS, and the many opportunities that it presents to improve the lives of people affected by mental health conditions, from July 2016.
MHCC facilitated and participated in a featured symposium and presented a paper.
Symposium -'The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS): How is Mental Health Faring?': presentation. A link to the symposium webcast is available here: NDIS and mental health: the story so far (presentations and videos) Mental Health Australia
Paper - 'Further Unravelling Psychosocial Disability: The Lived Experience of the NDIS from the First Year at the NSW Hunter Launch Site': presentation
NDIS Organisational and Workforce Readiness Forum29 July MHCC partnered with MHA and the National Disability Service (NDS)to convene this forum in Sydney: presentation
Presentation- MHCC Big Issues Forum and AGM (Sydney) 3/12/13
Handout - (NDIA Support Categories, Assessment and Care Planning Processes) In November 2013, MHCC hosted Peter Gianfrancesco to conduct workshops in Newcastle and Sydney addressing organisational readiness for the NDIS based on his experience of the introduction of individualised funding packages in the UK.
29/7/2013 MHCC partnered with the Mental Health Council of Australia and the National Disability Service to convene a 'NDIS Organisational and Workforce Readiness Forum' in Sydney on 29/7/14: presentation
MHCC Big Issues Forum and AGM (Sydney) - 3 December 2013 - Presentation
NDIS Readiness Workshops with Peter Gianfrancesco - November 2013. MHCC hosted these workshops in Newcastle and Sydney addressing organisational readiness for the NDIS based on his experience of the introduction of individualised funding packages in the UK.
July 1 2013 was an important day for Australia and NSW with the launch of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS; the Scheme) through the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA; the Agency).
This advertising insert from the Newcastle Morning Herald on the first day of the NDIS illustrates aspects of how the community sector may operate in a future where individualised funding drives service delivery.
MHCC will continue to be vigilant and forward thinking about the potential impacts of the NDIS on the community managed mental health sector who is the key provider of psychosocial rehabilitation and recovery/disability support services to people affected by mental illness.
The transitional implementation of the NDIS in the Hunter trial site of NSW between 2013/16 is an important opportunity to consider how people with mental health issues and/or psychosocial disability might be impacted by NDIS.
The Hunter trial site implementation includes 'Tier 3' individualised funded disability support packages for around 10,000 people, as follows:
'Existing clients' means people currently in receipt of disability support services funded by the NSW Department of Family and Community Services (Ageing, Disability and Homecare) that are transitioning to NDIA. 'New clients' includes some people receiving Commonwealth funded mental health programs including:
Referrals of new clients can be from any of the three LGAs from July 1 2013. For people with mental health issues to be eligible, you must have a high level of psychosocial disability related to mental illness. Information about supports that the NDIS will fund in relation to mental health is available here. This was informed by earlier Some Operational Guidelines have recently been released that explaining how the NDIS will interface with 'clinical' health/mental health services for assessment/access and planning purposes:
Operational Guidelines have also been developed explaining the disability requirements for access to 'Tier 3' Individual Funding Packages of the NDIS and explaining the interface with 'informal supports' including the role/s of families and carers, and with guidance for matters related to respite:
For more information about the Scheme including eligibility and how to apply, you can: