Health professionals, psychosocial disability and the NDIS

Project Overview

Mental Health Australia was engaged by the Department of Social Services to identify how health professionals can be better supported to assist consumers with psychosocial disability to access the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). Mental Health Australia consulted with health professionals through its clinical member organisations, about their views on initiatives that will work best for them to help their consumers to have a better NDIS access experience. Following this consultation and wider analysis, a project report was developed to provide advice to the Department of Social Services (DSS) and the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) about these initiatives and their implementation.

The final project report outlines barriers health professionals face in supporting people with psychosocial disability to access the NDIS, particularly regarding lack of information and clarity around eligibility criteria and the role of health professions in supporting applications for the NDIS. The report provides recommendations to improve the pathways from health services to the NDIS, including clarifying these roles and expectations through clear information to health professionals and increasing the NDIA’s engagement with health profession experts.

The final project report is available for download here. 


Submissions to the Joint Parliamentary Committee on the NDIS and the Productivity Commission NDIS Costs Study highlight widespread and persistent stakeholder concerns with the interface between the NDIS and mainstream systems, and in particular the health system.

With the majority of future participants with psychosocial disability still outside the NDIS, an urgent priority is to identify and address the barriers to NDIS access via the health system.

Project Outputs

The project outputs include:

  • A list of initiatives, that would help health professionals to facilitate access to the NDIS for people with psychosocial disability,
  • An increased awareness of health professionals about what the NDIS offers people with psychosocial disability,
  • Advice to the NDIA on refinements to the psychosocial pathway, and
  • Advice to the Department of Social Services on matters of policy that affect this cohort where they relate to the intersection of the NDIS access process and health services.

The final project report is available for download here.

Stakeholder engagement

In line with the project focus on health professionals, Mental Health Australia consulted our member health professional organisations:

  • Australian Association of Social Workers
  • Australian Clinical Psychology Association
  • Australian College of Mental Health Nurses
  • Australian Psychological Society
  • Dietitians Association of Australia
  • Occupational Therapy Australia
  • Royal Australian College of General Practitioners
  • The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists

Mental Health Australia also drew on the views of consumer and carer representatives and experiences of member community mental health organisations who deliver NDIS services.

Contact Us

For any project enquiries, please contact Emma Coughlan at

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