The National Disability Insurance Scheme has implications for people living with mental illness who need disability support services.
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is one of the largest reforms to disability services in decades. It presents unique challenges and opportunities as the system moves towards providing consumers with a greater choice in who provides them with support.
People living with mental illness who need disability support services will be impacted by the NDIS.
Much has been learnt from trial sites in Victoria and New South Wales which focused on providing support to mental health consumers.
NDIS roll-out in Queensland
In 2015-16, the National Disability Insurance Agency together with the State Government commenced rolling out the NDIS in Queensland, commencing in Townsville, Charters Towers and on Palm Island.
To access the full benefit of the NDIS, consumers, families and carers as well as the non-government sector need to have a good understanding of how it works, as well as identifying any barriers early.
NDIS and mental health
In response to requests from the non-government sector, we hosted a workshop in partnership with the Queensland Alliance for Mental Health Inc. in September 2015.
The aim was to identify opportunities for the non-government sector to optimise outcomes from the NDIS and support people with mental health issues who do not qualify for the NDIS.
Maximising benefits for people with mental illness
We developed a discussion paper on Queensland’s human services system post NDIS, Planning ahead to maximise the benefits for people with mental illness to guide discussion.
The workshop enabled stakeholders to explore opportunities for holistic service system co-design, including strategies for coordination across service types to support people with mental health issues, particularly those with complex needs.
It was determined that ongoing collaboration between stakeholders and the non-government sector was necessary. Queensland Alliance for Mental Health Inc. continues to host discussions and proactively provide advice and input on the rollout of the NDIS in Queensland. See Queensland Transition to NDIS for Mental Health Strategic Forum
In 2017, the Parliament of Australia’s Joint Standing Committee on the NDIS held an Inquiry into the provision of services under the NDIS for people with psychosocial disabilities related to a mental health condition.
The Commission’s Submission to the NDIS Inquiry, February 2017 acknowledged the work underway to better accommodate people living with a mental health condition and the efforts to meet transition targets, however noted that a strong focus on getting the foundations right is also required. We made 21 recommendations for the Inquiry to consider.