Optimising Psychosocial Supports Project Report

This report 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.

This is the final report of the Optimising Psychosocial Support Project which brought 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 report provides a high level summary of the results of the project, the methodology, and data collection and analysis. The report offers adjustments to the NDIS support purpose types and typical support packages for people with psychosocial disability. It proposes 38 new items for the NDIS Price Guide and amendments to 28 existing items. The information contained in the project report has been extracted from a detailed technical report prepared by David McGrath Consulting for the Project Management Group.

With the announcement of the development of the psychosocial disability stream within the NDIS, there is an opportunity for collaboration between the mental health sector and the NDIA to refine the NDIA’s approach to planning and pricing services for people with psychosocial disability. Such collaboration, and concerted advocacy building on it, will enable the NDIA to operate in a way that optimises supports for NDIS participants with psychosocial disability.

Supporting the NDIA to improve the NDIS pathway for people with psychosocial disability

The NDIA has announced that it will make a range of improvements to the NDIS pathway for people with psychosocial disability. A collaboration of NDIA officials, consumers and carers and representatives of the mental health sector could compare and contrast the project evidence with the NDIA’s evidence on psychosocial services under the NDIS to:

  • 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
  • add 30 new service items to the NDIS Price Guide to better meet the needs of people with psychosocial disability
  • 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
  • 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
  • develop a specific assessment tool for planning purposes, that contains all the domains favoured by consumer and carers for their social and economic participation
  • review and refine NDIA typical support packages for people with psychosocial disability to ensure they provide the optimal NDIS response to psychosocial disability.
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