Government announces NDIS mental health support
The Morrison government has announced Australians experiencing severe mental health issues can access support through the NDIS
Tens of thousands of Australians experiencing mental health issues are set to get better support through changes to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
The connections between mental health services and the authority that runs the NDIS will be improved as part of the reforms. The Morrison government announced the new ‘psychosocial disability scheme’ for the NDIS during World Mental Health Day.
Minister for Families and Social Services, Paul Fletcher, said: “This reform follows recommendations by the national peak organisation, Mental Health Australia, in its ‘National Disability Insurance Scheme Psychosocial Disability Stream Report’.”
Fletcher added that the new system is a critical step for the NDIS in providing a better pathway and support to about 64,000 Australians with psychosocial disability. They will now have their own specific stream under the NDIS.
This will affect the way affected individuals are assessed when they enter the system and how they will then move through it.
“What we need to do is make sure that those who are eligible for coverage within the scheme are given the support they need,” Fletcher told Sky News.
The changes, which will be rolled out progressively, will include the employment of specialised planners and local area coordinators. There will also be an additional and increased focus on recovery-based planning and episodic needs.
Assistant Minister for Disability Services, Sarah Henderson, thanked Mental Health Australia and the many stakeholders, including NDIS participants and mental health professionals, who informed the report’s recommendations.
“The government is listening to the sector and acting on its recommendations, as we see today with establishment of the new NDIS stream,” Henderson said.
Mental Health Australia Chief Executive, Frank Quinlan, said he was glad the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) and the Coalition are listening to the issues.
“We’re pleased the NDIA and the government is listening to the concerns of NDIS participants and their carers and will be investing in improving the experience of people with mental health issues under the NDIS,” Quinlan said.
If you or someone you know needs help, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit lifeline.org.au