New report informs a better support approach for NDIS participants with psychosocial disability

Mental Health Australia is pleased to release a report on a very important project that aims to improve the makeup of NDIS plans for people with psychosocial disability.

The Optimising Psychosocial Support Project brings together, for the first time, service level data from community based mental health programs to present a picture of how people with psychosocial disability were supported in ‘pre-NDIS’ programs.

The project provides a rich and valuable evidence base to augment and support the NDIA’s work to deliver the most appropriate support to NDIS participants with psychosocial disability.

The NDIA recently announced that it will make a range of improvements to the NDIS pathway for people with psychosocial disability, and findings from this project can make a significant contribution to that goal. In collaboration with the mental health sector, the NDIA could compare and contrast the project evidence with the NDIA’s evidence on psychosocial services under the NDIS to:

a) develop a recovery oriented approach to planning with up front investment for a period of stabilising and establishment and (when the participant is ready) move to plans that build and improve the participant’s social and economic participation
b) add 30 new service items to the NDIS Price Guide to better meet the needs of people with psychosocial disability
c) develop a method for applying language that is used in contemporary community based mental health practice to support items in the NDIS Price Guide and the construct of typical support packages
d) develop a planning process that privileges conversations with participants (and carers and families) as the main determinant of support needs, conducted by skillful and trained planners
e) develop a specific assessment tool for planning purposes, that contains all the domains favoured by consumer and carers for their social and economic participation
f) review and refine NDIA typical support packages for people with psychosocial disability to ensure they provide the optimal NDIS response to psychosocial disability.

The project is an initiative of a partnership between Aftercare, Flourish Australia, the Mental Illness Fellowship of Australia, Mind Australia, Neami National, New Horizons, Star Health and Wellways. The Project Partners funded the project and provided significant in-kind input in the form of service level data, expertise in service delivery, and governance of the project. The National Mental Health Commission provided additional grant funding. 

Consumers and carers provided expert advice and were involved in the governance of the project. The project was also very fortunate to have the expertise of three clinical and disability experts who provided advice and a broader perspective to the project. 
The project was delivered by David McGrath consultants, and managed by Mental Health Australia on behalf of the Project Partners.

The project report, and more information about the project, can be found at


Media contact Emily Roser t: 0487 322 889
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