NDIS Capacity Building Project Papers

In 2014, the Australian Government provided funding through the NDIS Sector Development Fund, for Mental Health Australia to build the capacity of the mental health sector to engage with the NDIS. As a part of this project, Mental Health Australia worked with expert organisations and project advisory groups to develop the following three papers.

NDIS and the Mental Health Workforce (October 2015)

This paper explores the impact of the NDIS on the mental health workforce and makes recommendations about next steps and priorities in the context of national implementation of the NDIS.

Mental Health Australia sub-contracted the NSW Mental Health Coordinating Council (MHCC) to develop this paper on behalf of, and in partnership with, Community Mental Health Australia (CMHA). MHCC sub-contracted the Human Capital Alliance (International) Pty Ltd, to undertake research and prepare the report in partnership with the MHCC and CMHA, and in collaboration with Mental Health Australia and a Project Advisory Group.

The paper highlights that many service providers consider the NDIS to be a ‘challenging’ environment, with pricing constraints and rigidity in the Catalogue of Supports (now the National Disability Insurance Agency/NDIA Price Guide) making it difficult to remain faithful to a recovery model and to deploy and manage the workforce in a preferred manner.

However, it also acknowledges the NDIS is still in its early stages with learning, particularly in regard to people with psychosocial disability, now being consolidated and scaled up, including through the NDIA Mental Health Sector Reference Group and the NDIS Independent Advisory Council.

The report’s recommendations include the need for further research, support for mental health qualifications, support for effective implementation of necessary workforce flexibility, sector communications about good practice, and effective information dissemination to support organisations to engage with the NDIS.

Please read the full report here.


Mental Health Carers and the NDIS (January 2016)

Mental Health Australia sub-contracted Carers Australia to develop this paper in collaboration with Mental Health Australia and a Project Advisory Group.

This paper provides advice to the Department of Social Services on issues arising for mental health carers in the context of the NDIS and offers recommendations to build the capacity of carers to participate in the NDIS. The paper explores the current impact of the NDIS on carers in trial sites and the impact it may have on the sustainability of the caring role.

It also discusses issues faced specifically by mental health carers, including stigma and lack of understanding about mental illness, issues arising due to the episodic nature of psychosocial disability, and the importance of recovery focussed pre-planning support for some people with psychosocial disability.

Practical recommendations and strategies are provided, with a focus on:

  • providing accurate, timely and definitive information to mental health carers about their involvement and rights in relation to the NDIS
  • building the knowledge of National Disability Insurance Agency staff to understand psychosocial disability
  • ensuring a range of supports continue to exist for mental health carers who are unable to access this through a participant’s individually funded package.

Please read the full paper here.


Supported Decision Making, Psychosocial Disability and the NDIS (February 2016)

With the implementation of the NDIS comes greater ownership of decision making by people with disability. However, some people with disability may require support in order to effectively participate in decision making.

To explore this issue, Mental Health Australia sub-contracted the ACT, Disability, Aged and Carer Advisory Service to develop a paper on supported decision making, psychosocial disability and the NDIS, in collaboration with Mental Health Australia and a Project Advisory Group.

The paper explores supported decision making for people with psychosocial disability in the context of the NDIS and offers a range of tangible recommendations to improve access to and provision of supported decision making. The recommendations suggest:

  • establishing national supported decision making principles, which take into account existing supported decision making principles and frameworks.
  • a range of awareness raising, education and training mechanisms specifically related to the use of supported decision making with people with psychosocial disability in the context of the NDIS
  • a range of further research is required, including supporting people with psychosocial disability to identify how they would like to have decision supports provided.

Please read the full paper here.



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