NDIS Mental Health Network Update – 19 October 2015

In this edition of Mental Health Australia’s NDIS Mental Health Network update we’d like to bring to your attention a co-design consultation regarding the Information, Linkages and Capacity Building (ILC) Commissioning Framework. We also provide some information about an upcoming audit of the NDIS, new NDIS resources for carers, NDIS costing and pricing training for services providers and valuable publications released by the Mental Health Coordinating Council of New South Wales.

NDIS ILC Commissioning Framework Consultation

In August 2015, the Disability Reform Council agreed on the ILC Framework, which identifies five broad service categories that will be funded through ILC. The NDIA is now developing its ILC Commissioning Framework, which will provide more details about how decisions regarding ILC‑funded services will be made.

To inform the development of the Commissioning Framework, the NDIA has invited stakeholder organisations to conduct, support or promote co-design workshops at the community level. This is an admirable initiative, and we hope it reflects a genuine commitment by the NDIA to the principles of co-design as the NDIS evolves.

The timeline for completing the Commissioning Framework is daunting, because the NDIA needs to start funding ILC services on 1 January 2016 in those areas transitioning into the NDIS on 1 July 2016. The NDIA is therefore asking stakeholders to plan, conduct and report on co-design workshops by 30 October 2015.

Mental Health Australia recognises that the timeline will prove impossible for most. Given the importance of ILC for the mental health sector, it is disappointing that stakeholders do not have an opportunity to consider and discuss at greater length how ILC services will be commissioned. Our own engagement with these issues will be limited to discussions at our Members Policy Forum, which (fortuitously) is taking place this Thursday 22nd October 2015.

In case you are able to rapidly organise co-design workshops, we’ve uploaded the workshop materials to our website (see below) for your information. The materials spell out the NDIA’s initial thinking around the framework alongside some key questions, should you wish to provide the NDIA with your own thoughts. If you do choose to provide feedback to NDIA, please consider copying Mental Health Australia into your response (info@mhaustralia.org). This will enable us to incorporate key issues raised by our networks into future advocacy work on mental health and the NDIS.

NDIS Audit by the Australian National Audit Office

The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) is conducting an audit of the NDIS and in particular the transition to the disability services market. The ANAO will be speaking with a Mental Health Australia alongside other stakeholders to get feedback on how the transition to the new disability market has been managed, and discuss some of the market challenges faced moving forward as the NDIS matures.

If you have any information you think Mental Health Australia should consider in providing feedback to the ANAO, please email info@mhaustralia.org as soon as possible.

NDIS resources for mental health carers

As part of National Carers Week, Mental Health Australia has released a Guide for Mental Health Carers on the NDIS.

Developed in conjunction with Carers Australia, it provides information for people who provide unpaid care and support to a family member or friend with a psychosocial disability associated with a mental illness or mental health condition.

Also included with the guide is a checklist for carers, which outlines what to expect and things to consider before the person they care for attends their planning session.

The guide and checklist can be accessed via both Mental Health Australia’s website (click here) and Carers Australia’s website (click here).

National Disability Services Costing and Pricing Learning Program

Last week National Disability Services (NDS) launched its Costing and Pricing Learning Program. The program aims to build knowledge and skills of disability service providers in costing, pricing and cost management practice to support organisations to transition to the NDIS funding model. Access to the online components is free and any costs associated with seminar participation are outlined when you register.

Mental Health Australia encourages psychosocial disability support organisations to enrol in this really useful training. To find out more and/or register for this training please visit the Costing and Pricing Learning Program website (click here).

MHCC Publications

In September the Mental Health Coordinating Council (MHCC) released two NDIS related publications. The first is a report on the experiences of NDIS in the NSW trial site from a mental health perspective. This very informative piece of work is available on the MHCC website (click here). The MHCC says “the report describes the MHCC’s experiences and observations from a NSW community managed mental health sector trial site perspective across the first two years of NDIS implementation.”

The MHCC has also recently released the latest edition of the ‘Mental Health Rights Manual’. This is an online resource, available on the MHCC website (click here) that comments on the latest legislative reform and outlines the mental health and human services environment. It’s a great resource for anyone navigating the mental health system and provides information on the NDIS in Chapter 11 Section A.


If you would like any further information about the above, please email Emma Coughlan at info@mhaustralia.org

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