NDIS Workshop for Mental Health Peer Workers

Article by Petra Kallay, Community Education Co-ordinator, ACT Mental Health Consumer Network

In late 2013 the ACT Mental Health Consumer Network was funded under the DisabilityCare Australia Sector Development Grants, through the ACT NDIS Taskforce, to develop an education module for peer workers about the NDIS.

After consultation with consumers, mental health peer workers, MHCC ACT, NDIA and the community, the Network developed a two-day training program covering the following topics:

  • What the NDIS is 
  • The roll-out of the Scheme in the ACT
  • Recovery and the NDIS
  • Supporting decision making
  • Planning strategies
  • Preparation for registration, planning and assessment
  • Implementing and Managing Plans

The Network was able to deliver the workshop twice, in May and June 2014, delivering it to 17 participants over both workshops.

The participants commented that the workshop was worthwhile and helped them dispel ‘myths’ about the NDIS, and learn information that would be useful in a peer worker context. They commented that they particularly enjoyed having the guest speakers from the NDIA come because it helped them put a ‘face’ to the agency/scheme, and helped them feel more positive about it.

Since the Scheme had not yet been implemented in the ACT a discussion topic that kept coming up throughout the workshop was concern about how the peer workforce would fit within the NDIS, and what scope there might be for a future peer workforce

The ACT NDIS Taskforce has done a lot of work to raise awareness of the NDIS; nevertheless it was clear that the participants were not clear about the NDIS and how it would affect their sector. 

With the implementation of the NDIS in the ACT, it could be of great benefit for sector development if the workshop was accessible not just for peer workers but other workers within the mental health sector.

Participants said that they would recommend other staff within their organisations attend the training if it was offered in the future. Several people have already requested that their names be put down on a ‘waiting list’ in case the training is offered again.


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Article contributed to the newsletter Perspectives - August 2014. Please note that this article is from an individual contributor and does not necessarily reflect the views of Mental Health Australia

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