Close Search
 
MEDIA, JOBS & RESOURCES for the COMMON GOOD
News  |  Social AffairsMental health

NDIS issues putting a strain on the mental health system


24 September 2019 at 4:59 pm
Luke Michael
Australian governments must work together to ensure people with severe mental health issues who are ineligible for the National Disability Insurance Scheme can use psychosocial support services, the National Mental Health Commission says.


Luke Michael | 24 September 2019 at 4:59 pm


6 Comments


 Print
NDIS issues putting a strain on the mental health system
24 September 2019 at 4:59 pm

Australian governments must work together to ensure people with severe mental health issues who are ineligible for the National Disability Insurance Scheme can use psychosocial support services, the National Mental Health Commission says.

The NMHC’s latest report said people with severe mental health issues – a psychosocial disability – deserved the support they needed to live a healthy life, regardless of whether or not they were NDIS participants.

The report said even those who were potentially eligible for the NDIS were struggling to transition into the scheme, with a distrust of the NDIS system, people being too unwell, and an overwhelming scheme application process listed as key reasons for the slow uptake.

“The NDIS is having an impact on the mental health system,” the report said.

“The NMHC has heard that participants are not always getting the support they need, and this is leading to a deterioration of individuals’ mental health and a greater reliance on clinical mental health services, including increased presentations at emergency departments.”

As of 30 June 2019, there were 25,192 people with psychosocial disability (9 per cent of all NDIS participants) using the scheme.

It is expected by full scheme that 64,000 participants (14 per cent of NDIS participants) will be people with a psychosocial disability.

But with an estimated 690,000 Australians living with severe mental health issues, it means up to 91 per cent of people with a psychosocial disability will have to rely on non-NDIS community mental health services for support.

A report earlier this year found only a quarter of people in Commonwealth-funded mental health programs that are set to close in 2020 have successfully transitioned to the NDIS.

The NMHC recommended the federal government extend support for Commonwealth community mental health program clients to at least June 2021.

It said the federal government must work with state and territory governments to ensure people who are ineligible for the NDIS have access to appropriate psychosocial support services.

“All governments have a role in ensuring that people who are ineligible for the NDIS have access to appropriate psychosocial supports,” the report said.

The NMHC also recommended that the National Disability Insurance Agency routinely publish data about participants with psychosocial disability, including information about application, access and planning outcomes.

It praised the NDIA for trying to improve the experience of people with severe mental illness, by making service improvements to the psychosocial disability service stream, undertaking specialised training for NDIA staff, and streamlining the NDIS transition process for those in existing programs.

But it said there were still improvements that needed to be made.

“Concerns remain… around consistencies in eligibility and planning outcomes, lack of understanding of psychosocial disability and how the episodic nature of mental illness and the recovery approach aligns with the NDIS assessment process,” the report said.


Luke Michael  |  Journalist  |  @luke_michael96

Luke Michael is a journalist at Pro Bono News covering the social sector.

PB Careers
Get your biweekly dose of news, opinion and analysis to keep you up to date with what’s happening and why it matters for you, sent every Tuesday and Thursday morning.

Got a story to share?

Got a news tip or article idea for Pro Bono News? Or perhaps you would like to write an article and join a growing community of sector leaders sharing their thoughts and analysis with Pro Bono News readers? Get in touch at news@probonoaustralia.com.au or download our contributor guidelines.

Advertisement

CFRE

Get more stories like this

FREE SOCIAL
SECTOR NEWS

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

New report uncovers COVID-19 mental health toll on NFP sector

Luke Michael

Monday, 10th August 2020 at 2:55 pm

Calls for better mental health response to COVID-19

Luke Michael

Wednesday, 8th July 2020 at 12:30 pm

pba inverse logo
Subscribe Twitter Facebook
×