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, 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.

Click here to read more about the project methodology, who’s involved or project governance.

A literature review of existing psychosocial support services and current interventions is now available for review.

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


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).

Learn more

Earlier in June, Mental Health Australia hosted the first of a series of webinars for service providers to learn more about the project, and to provide feedback and comments. Watch the webinar below or via our Youtube page.

There will be a second webinar on Thursday 9 August from 10:00am-12:00 midday (EST) focusing on details of the second project outcome - the aggregation of services into typical support packages. If you would like to register to participate in this webinar, please email kath.sequoia@mhaustralia.org with your name, organisation name, job title and contact phone number. You will be provided with the link to the webinar and pre-reading material.

Get involved

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

PDF icon FAQsPDF51.13 KB
PDF icon Project OverviewPDF73.23 KB
PDF icon Project MethodologyPDF129.75 KB