NDIS Capacity Building Project Update 9 – 24 April 2015

Please find below the latest NDIS Network Update.  In this issue we discuss the National Mental Health Commission’s Review of Mental Health Programmes and Services, outcomes from a Consumer and Carer Workshop on Capacity Building for the NDIS, a communique from the latest National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) Mental Health Sector Reference Group, National Disability Services training opportunities for psychosocial disability service providers and a new website intended to become an Australian Disability Service Directory.

National Mental Health Commission Review of Mental Health Programmes and Services

Last week, the National Mental Health Commission released its Report on the Review of Mental Health Programmes and Services, which is now available on the Commission’s website.  The review offers 25 recommendations, one of which is particularly relevant to the NDIS

Recommendation 3: Urgently clarify the eligibility criteria for access to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) for people with disability arising from mental illness and ensure the provision of current funding allows for a significant Tier 2 system of community supports.

Mental Health Australia’s policy team is in the process of analysing the review. In the meantime an initial summary of the review is available on our website and our CEO, Mr Frank Quinlan, has provided his preliminary comment via a video.  

Communique – Mental Health Australia Peer NDIS Experts Workshop

One of the key priorities under Mental Health Australia’s NDIS Capacity Building Project is to engage, support and work with a group of mental health consumers and carers in each state and territory to provide a consumer and carer voice on the NDIS development and implementation issues and to feed information back to their networks. 

On 29 January 2015 this group was convened comprising one consumer and one carer from each state and territory and four members of the National Mental Health Consumer and Carer Forum.  At this meeting the group were asked to provide advice on priorities for action for NDIS consumer and carer capacity building and specifically, priorities for the Mental Health Australia Capacity Building Project to November 2016.   

A communique highlighting the outcomes of this meeting is available on our website. The group advised on a range of initiatives that would help support capacity building for mental health consumers and carers, including:

  • Development of key messaging about the NDIS for mental health consumers and carers.
  • Support for mental health peer workers to promote the abovementioned key messages, educate carers and consumers about the NDIS and support consumers and carers.
  • Establishment of local mental health consumer and carer advisory groups to feed into NDIS planning and implementation.
  • Implementation of staged, recovery focussed pre-planning processes for mental health consumers and carers.
  • Exploration, promotion and implementation of a supported decision making approach within the NDIS for people with psychosocial disability.
  • Development of local networks for people with a psychosocial disability ensuring provision of information to more marginalised consumers and carers.
  • Development of an online community hub for consumers and carers to share experiences, and provide support to each other through NDIS transition.
  • Establishment of an independent advocacy service with mental health expertise to assist individuals to access the NDIS and participate in any review processes.
  • Provision of further education for services outside the NDIA such as Centrelink, employment services, homelessness services and GPs about psychosocial disability and the NDIS
  • Conducting further research into mental health consumer and carer psychosocial disability support needs to inform capacity building planning.
  • Provision of targeted support for specific groups such as people from culturally diverse backgrounds, rural and remote groups and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The group, currently called Peer NDIS Experts, will be meeting again on 6 May 2015 in Canberra to provide input to the consultation on the NDIS Quality and Safeguarding Framework currently being undertaken by the Department of Social Services.

More detail on the Mental Health Consumer and Carer Capacity Building Plan will be provided in future network updates.

Communique – NDIA Mental Health Sector Reference Group

The NDIA Mental Health Sector Reference Group was established in late 2014 to develop a strong working partnership between the mental health sector and the NDIA.  The second meeting of the group was held on Wednesday 4 March 2015 and a communique on the outcomes of the meeting can be found on the NDIS website.  

Issues discussed at this meeting included progress on the Operational Access Review for Psychosocial Disability and the Design of Individual Supports for People with Psychosocial Disability project.  More details on these projects can be found at the above link.  

In addition to the information above, it is also worth noting that there are a number of mental health consumers and carers participating in the implementation of the Operational Access Review Project and a process to consult with mental health consumers, carers and service providers through state/territory mental health peaks has been developed as part of the Individual Supports for People with Psychosocial Disability project.  More details on these processes can be obtained by contacting the respective NDIA project managers (contact details here).

Training Opportunities! Psychosocial Disability Service Providers 

As part of its NDIS Mental Health Capacity Building Plan, Mental Health Australia is also working with state and territory peaks to provide NDIS development opportunities for psychosocial disability service providers.  More details on this work will also be provided in future updates.  

In the meantime, National Disability Services (NDS) has advised Mental Health Australia about the following workforce related activity that providers of psychosocial disability services are eligible to attend:

Workforce Planning Skill Set Training

Where: Some places left in western Sydney and Darwin

What: NDS is offering a federally subsidised six-month training course in Workforce Planning to disability organisations across Australia as part of the Disability Workforce Innovation Network project. The course will involve a mix of face-to-face workshops and webinars. Further details are available (PDF 150KB) on the training delivery model and assessment.

Participant outcomes include:

  • Completion of a workforce plan for your organisation using the templates and tools provided 
  • Identification of strategies to improve recruitment, retention and learning and development and better align these with your organisation’s business strategy 
  • Expansion of your existing networks and work collaboratively with other disability organisations on common workforce challenges 
  • A nationally accredited qualification in workforce planning. 

Staff from for-profit and not-for-profit organisations are eligible.  Participants must not be in receipt of other training funding and hold at least a Certificate III.  They need to have the support of their Board and CEO.

The training is being delivered with the assistance of funding provided by the Australian Government through the Department of Industry. One government-subsidised place is available per organisation, with an employer contribution of $660 per participant. An additional (unsubsidised) place (maximum one further place per organisation per course) may be available.

Complete an expression of interest form (Word 154KB), or complete an accessible online survey. All those who submit an EOI will be advised by email of the subsequent steps. This will include being provided with a participant questionnaire, enrolment procedures and pre-course work. 

Employing a Flexible Workforce in a Person-Centred Environment

What: To learn more about flexible working practices that support a person-centred environment, improve employee engagement and workforce utilisation and comply with industrial regulations, register below to attend a one-day workshop delivered by Jobs Australia.

During the workshops, participants will:

  • explore the challenges facing organisations in terms of attracting, recruiting and retaining a flexible and responsive workforce;
  • consider flexible employment opportunities within the existing Industrial Relations (IR) framework; and,
  • receive up-to-date IR information and guidance.

This workshop is suitable for individuals responsible for human resource management, workforce strategy and planning, workforce development, recruitment and line management in ADHC-funded non-government organisations.

Where and Contact:

Clickability – New Australian Disability Service Directory

A new website called ‘Clickability’ has been launched, which is intended to become an Australian Disability Service Directory that will also feature ratings and reviews from the people who use these services.  The website has launched for Victoria, but will be featuring services across Australia soon. You can check it out at: http://clickability.com.au/ 


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