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Mental health and the NDIS

Mental health and the NDIS

Mental health and the NDIS

How psychosocial disabilities are supported on the NDIS

Mental illness is common. In fact, almost one in two Australians will experience some sort of mental ill-health at some point in their lives. However, for some people, mental illness will impact on their capacity for day-to-day life. This is called a ‘psychosocial disability’ and is one disability funded by the NDIS.

Here we look at how the NDIS funds mental health and how to work out if you’re eligible for NDIS funding.

What is a psychosocial disability?

The term psychosocial disability describes a disability that arises from a mental health issue. When you have a psychosocial disability, it usually implies you have a lifelong condition that impacts your life and your ability to perform certain tasks. These tasks might be related to:

  • Social interaction – interacting in the community, making and keeping friends.
  • Self-management – organising your life, taking care of daily tasks, managing your finances and problem solving.
  • Self-care – personal care, looking after your health and hygiene.
  • Learning – understanding and remembering new information and practising new skills.
  • Communication – being understood in spoken, written or sign language or understanding others.
  • Mobility – being able to move around your home and community.

Some psychosocial disabilities include anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and schizophrenia.

Not everyone who has these conditions or other mental health conditions may develop a psychosocial disability. However, if you have a psychosocial disability and find it hinders your day-to-day life, you may be eligible for NDIS funding.

How many people with mental health conditions use the NDIS?

According to the latest NDIS quarterly report, psychosocial disability is the third most common disability funded on the NDIS. Approximately 11% of NDIS participants have a psychosocial disability and there are around 56,000 active plans.

The most common goal types for people with psychosocial disability are in the ‘daily life’, ‘health and wellbeing’, and ‘social and community activities’ categories.

How do you know if you’re eligible for the NDIS?

In order to receive NDIS funding, you will need to make sure you’re eligible. Requirements include being aged between 7 and 64, being an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or Protected Special Category Visa holder and living in Australia.

You will need to apply for NDIS funding and need to provide evidence of your psychosocial disability. This form needs to be filled in by your psychiatrist, GP, or another clinician you’re working with, as well as your support worker or the most appropriate person.

You can also provide supporting evidence of your disability, like letters, assessments and reports from allied health professionals, family or support providers.

How can the NDIS help with mental health?

The aim of the NDIS is to fund support that will increase your independence, social inclusion, and economic participation. You have choice and control over what support will help you best.

When you receive NDIS funding, you will create some goals of things you want to achieve. You can then decide how you want to achieve those goals. If you’re not sure how to create goals, don’t worry, there is plenty of support available. We can help you at Five Good Friends or you can talk with family, friends, or your Local Area Coordinator.

Some ways you could achieve goals might include:

  • Getting help with paying bills, accessing Centrelink or learning about budgeting to help improve your finances.
  • Transport to social functions or community events to improve your social life.
  • Help with personal care or cleaning to help improve your independence at home.
  • Support to help you improve employment skills to help you get a job or volunteer position.
  • Help with shopping, meal preparation or nutrition to improve your health.

The NDIS can also fund a psychosocial recovery coach to help you take more control of your life. These coaches can help you manage the complex challenges of day-to-day living.

It’s important to note that the goal of the NDIS is for you to achieve your optimal state of personal, social and emotional wellbeing. Even when you respond to these interventions, you can still have mental health episodes down the track. These could be episodic or long lasting. The goal of the NDIS is for everyone to create a contributing life, despite mental health issues.

Would you like to know more about what supports NDIS funding can provide? Get in touch with us at Five Good Friends or request a call back and we can answer all your questions.

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