Optimising Support for Psychosocial Disability

Project overview

Mental Health Australia is managing an exciting project which aims to develop alternative ways to provide support for NDIS participants with psychosocial disability than those currently on offer at this stage of NDIS rollout. Over the coming months, Mental Health Australia will be working with consumers, carers and other experts through a Delphi process to refine a set of alternative typical support packages. The starting point will be existing evidence, including empirical service use and outcomes data held by providers. 

By aggregating and analysing existing service level data from providers, two major products will provide an alternative set of policy and procedural reference points for the NDIS which better reflect the needs of participants with psychosocial disability:

1. A list of optimal psychosocial services
2. Appropriate aggregation of these services into typical support packages.

The project is expected to be completed by the end of August 2018.

Who is involved?

Aftercare, Flourish Australia, Mental Illness Fellowship of Australia, Mind Australia, Neami National, New Horizons, Star Health and Wellways provide significant support in the form of service level data, expertise in service delivery, funding for the project, and providing direction to the project and managing it to its conclusion (the project partners).

Consumers and carers are involved in overseeing the management of the project and providing lived experience expertise to the development of the list of psychosocial support services and the typical support packages.

Mental Health Australia is managing the project under a service agreement with the project partners.

The National Mental Health Commission has provided a grant to Mental Health Australia to support the project.


For some time it has been apparent that the NDIA’s approach to planning is not fully reflecting the needs of people with psychosocial disability. Further, psychosocial support providers are struggling to deliver a recovery-oriented service under the prices on offer through the NDIS. Providers report having to adopt workarounds in response to current arrangements, with common misunderstandings about what support item descriptions are intended to mean for this cohort.

With the combination of poorly designed plans and pricing arrangements which do not recognise the range of input costs required to deliver a quality service, there is an opportunity for collaboration within the mental health sector to exert influence over the NDIA’s approach to planning and pricing services for people with psychosocial disability. Without such collaboration, and concerted advocacy building on it, there is a risk the NDIA will continue operating in a paradigm designed around other disability types.

For a comprehensive project overview and further background information, see the Project Overview (PDF).

Project Partners


For further information on who’s involved and project Governance, click here.

Have your say

As the project progresses, more information will be provided to the sector about the project and opportunities to be engaged with its progress and advocacy as the findings of the project become available.  

In the meantime, Mental Health Australia encourages members and others to get in touch with any ideas for how your organisation might help advocate for this important endeavour. Please contact ndis@mhaustralia.org.