NDIS Mental Health Network Update – 19 November 2015

In this edition of Mental Health Australia’s NDIS Mental Health Network update, please find information about:

  • a NDIS webinar on provider readiness occurring on Tuesday 24 November 2015
  • follow-up information regarding questions asked at the mental health webinar hosted by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) on 7 October 2015
  • an important initiative by Carers Australia to support carers to engage with the NDIS
  • opportunities for input to an evaluation of the NDIS by Flinders University
  • a Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Disability Reform Council communique
  • a report and public hearing from the Parliamentary Joint Standing Committee on NDIS
  • a Mental Health Commission of NSW publication outlining key issues for mental health in the Hunter Trial site, based on a collaborative project with the Mental Health Coordinating Council (NSW)
  • two reports recently released by the NDIA.

NDIS webinar on provider readiness

The NDIA is hosting a webinar on provider readiness to engage with the NDIS on Tuesday 24 November 2015 at 1pm AEDT. The webinar will include a panel discussion about providers’ experiences in preparing for the NDIS.

More information about the webinar is available on the NDIS website (click here).

More information from NDIS Webinar on Mental Health

Some of you may have seen the NDIA’s webinar on mental health and the NDIS on 7 October 2015. The NDIA has now posted additional information on the NDIS website relating to the webinar, including its responses to key themes raised during the webinar (click here). If you didn’t manage to catch the webinar the first time around, you can now view a recording of it on the NDIS website (click here).

Carers Australia Peer Conversation Partners

Carers Australia is running a project to support carers of people who are eligible for the NDIS but not yet enrolled. Through this project, carers in this situation will be put in touch with people who care for someone who’s already receiving NDIS supports. Please make sure you spread the word about this important initiative. More information is provided in the attached flyers (click here and here) and on the Carers Australia website (click here).

Flinders University Evaluation of the NDIS

The Australian Government Department of Social Services has commissioned an evaluation of the NDIS, which is being led by Flinders University. The evaluation is looking at the experience of participants, carers and services providers.

As a part of this research Flinders University is looking to speak with people who live in trial sites in New South Wales, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria or the Australian Capital Territory and:

  • have decided not to join the NDIS; or
  • have been told they can’t join the NDIS.

They’re happy to talk to people either on their own or as a part of a focus group and participants in the research are given $50 to help them take part. To find out more information, please click here.

COAG Disability Reform Council Communique

The COAG Disability Reform Council met on 13 November 2015 and a communique from this meeting is available on the Department of Social Services website (click here). At the meeting, among other matters, Ministers:

  • agreed the NDIA will develop benchmark prices relating to specialist disability accommodation
  • agreed to release a report on the consultation process on the NDIS quality and safeguarding framework (click here)
  • endorsed a strategy on “the NDIA’s approach to rural and remote service delivery”
  • agreed to request COAG endorsement of a NDIA Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Engagement Plan (to be developed)
  • requested the NDIA review its policies to ensure appropriate inclusion of carers.

Parliamentary Joint Standing Committee on NDIS progress report and public hearing

On 12 November 2015, the Parliamentary Joint Standing Committee on NDIS released its second progress report, available on the Australian Parliament website, (click here). This report includes a range of recommendations around planning and provider issues. Of particular interest is the summary of transition issues for the psychosocial disability sector commencing on page 39 and one of the conclusions drawn by the committee on pages 88-89:

“Mental health or psychosocial illness is another area where funding and policy development is contingent on bilateral negotiations with the states and territories and is yet to be fully established. … the committee is not in a position to assess the approach taken with regard to how mental illness as an issue is treated within the Scheme until there are some concrete decisions made. The committee intends to consider the issue in significant depth throughout the next 12 months.”

Readers may also be interested in:

  • data regarding the number of participant plans broken down by state and primary disability support category on page 16
  • Local Area Coordination issues, commencing on page 41
  • the outline of the Government’s overarching strategic direction in relation to workforce readiness, commencing on page 48
  • Sector Development Fund intentions and spending, commencing on page 51
  • a summary of providers’ concerns, commencing on page 56
  • some information about pricing issues, commencing on page 70.

The Committee has also held a roundtable on disability housing options since our last newsletter. The transcript of the roundtable is available on the Australian Parliament website (click here).

Mental Health Commission of NSW Publication

In October 2015, the Mental Health Commission of New South Wales released a summary issues paper from a joint project with the Mental Health Coordinating Council of NSW. The paper provides insights into operational aspects of the NDIS in relation to people with psychosocial disability, and discusses issues which have emerged in the Hunter NDIS trial site.

The paper is available on the Mental Health Commission of NSW website (click here).

NDIA Quarterly Report and Annual Report

The latest NDIA quarterly report was released on 12 November 2015 and is available on the NDIS website (click here). The quarterly report is designed to provide the COAG Disability Reform Council with information about the operations of the NDIS in each jurisdiction. The NDIA 2014-15 Annual Report was tabled on 22 October 2015 and is available on the NDIS website (click here). The report includes a summary of key actions and finances of the NDIA over the course of the 2014-15 financial year.

Please email Emma Coughlan at info@mhaustralia.org if you have any queries in relation to the above information.

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