NDIS and Mental Health: A Comprehensive Guide
Mental health conditions can cause severe and debilitating effects on a person’s life. Not everyone with a mental health condition will have a psychosocial disability, but for those that do, it can have a big impact on their lives.
Psychosocial disability is a term used within the NDIS that describes how a mental health condition may affect a person’s ability to participate in everyday activities. Some people with psychosocial disability may be eligible for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). The NDIS aims to help people with psychosocial disability to access the supports they need to live a fulfilling and independent life.
In this comprehensive guide, we will cover what you need to know about psychosocial disability and accessing services within the NDIS, including eligibility criteria, and what types of services are available.
Eligibility for support for psychosocial disability through the NDIS
To be eligible for NDIS mental health support services, participants must meet the following criteria:
- Have a permanent and significant disability that affects their mental health.
- Require support to manage their mental health condition.
- Be an Australian citizen or permanent resident.
- Be under the age of 65.
To access the NDIS, people with psychosocial disability need to provide evidence of their psychosocial disability and how it affects their functional capacity. The NDIS website has more information on how to apply for the NDIS and what evidence is needed. Alternatively, people can contact their local NDIS office or call 1800 800 110.
The NDIA will assess your eligibility and contact you to let you know the outcome. If you are eligible, you will be invited to have a planning meeting with an NDIA planner or a Local Area Coordinator (LAC). A planner or LAC is a person who works with you to develop your NDIS plan. Your NDIS plan is a document that outlines your goals, needs, and preferences, and the supports and services that you can access through the NDIS.
In your planning meeting, you can discuss:
- Your current situation and supports
- Your strengths and challenges
- Your short-term and long-term goals
- The types of supports and services that would help you achieve your goals
- How you want to manage your NDIS funding and choose your providers
You can bring someone with you to your planning meeting, such as a family member, friend, carer, advocate, or support worker. You can also ask for an interpreter or other communication assistance if you need it.
After your planning meeting, the NDIA will approve your NDIS plan and send you a copy. You can then start using your NDIS funding and accessing your supports and services. You will have regular reviews of your NDIS plan to make sure it is working for you and meets your changing needs.
How the NDIS can support people with psychosocial disability
The NDIS is designed to be flexible and responsive to the needs and goals of each individual participant. The supports funded by the NDIS complement other services that are responsible for providing clinical treatment and care, such as the mental health system. Some examples of how the NDIS can help include:
- Support coordination to assist the person with understanding and using their NDIS plan and linking with supports to pursue their goals.
- Funding for therapies such as seeing an occupational therapist, physiotherapist, speech pathologist or psychologist.
- Psychosocial recovery coach to support participants with psychosocial disabilities to live a full and contributing life.
- Transport funding to get to appointments and community activities.
- Assistance with finding and keeping employment.
- Support workers to assist the person be as independent as possible in their daily activities in their home.
- Support workers to assist the person with participating in community groups and activities they enjoy.
The NDIS aims to give people more choice and control over how supports are provided.
You can choose the providers that deliver your supports and services from a range of registered and unregistered providers. Registered providers are organisations or individuals that have met the quality and safety standards set by the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission. Unregistered providers are organisations or individuals that have not met these standards but may still offer quality services. You can find providers on the NDIS website or by asking for recommendations from other people. It is helpful to know that National 360 is a registered provider!
Allied Health supports for people with psychosocial disability through the NDIS
Allied health professionals provide support to NDIS participants through their Capacity Building Funding. These supports aim to build the person’s capacity to live a fulfilling life and achieve their goals. Allied health professionals use person-centred, recovery-oriented, trauma-informed, and strengths-based principles in their practice with participants.
The NDIS can provide funding for allied health professionals, such as occupational therapists, physiotherapists, speech pathologists and positive behaviour support practitioners. Here is some information about the different roles of Allied Health Professionals:
- Occupational therapists support people to engage in the daily activities people want and need to do (I.e. their occupations). Assessment and intervention focus on addressing the person factors, the occupation, and the environment, to enable people to engage in the things that are meaningful for them. Occupational therapists can help people with psychosocial disability to develop skills and strategies for independence in daily living, such as personal care, household tasks, leisure activities, community participation, education and employment. They can also provide assistive technology, home modifications and environmental assessments to enhance safety and independence.
- Physiotherapists can help people with psychosocial disability to optimise their physical health and well-being. They empower the individual by promoting functional movement, movement awareness, pain management, motivation, and physical activity and exercise, bringing together physical and mental aspects. They can also provide assistive technology to support these areas.
- Speech pathologists can help people with psychosocial disability to communicate effectively and participate socially. They can also provide assessment and intervention for swallowing difficulties, voice disorders, cognitive-communication impairments and augmentative and alternative communication systems (AAC).
- Positive behaviour support practitioners can help you understand and manage challenging behaviours that may affect your quality of life or the safety of yourself or others. They develop a behaviour support plans that outlines positive strategies to reduce or prevent these behaviours.
How can my allied health professionals support me with my NDIS goals?
Occupational Therapists can play a valuable role in supporting NDIS participants living with psychosocial disability. Here are some ways that Occupational Therapists can assist with NDIS mental health support services:
- Conducting functional capacity assessments to understand the person, their goals, and how their disability impacts them doing the things they want and need to do in their daily lives. Occupational therapy functional capacity assessments give detailed and holistic recommendations on recommended supports to help the person achieve their NDIS goals.
- Developing goal-oriented plans: Occupational therapists can work with participants to develop goal-oriented plans that are tailored to their individual needs, strengths, and preferences. This may include identifying meaningful activities that can promote engagement and satisfaction, and building skills to improve participation in daily life activities.
- Providing therapy and intervention: OTs provide individualised therapy using a range evidence-based interventions to support participants in achieving their goals. This may include acceptance and commitment therapy, cognitive-behavioural therapy, mindfulness-based approaches, and interventions to improve self-regulation and emotional management.
- Supporting transitions and adjustments: OTs can help participants navigate transitions and adjustments throughout their recovery journey. This may include supporting participants to develop strategies to adjust to changes in their environment or routine, or reintegrate into work or community life, or explore housing options that meet their needs. Occupational therapists can complete detailed assessments of a person’s functional capacity and recommend the daily support and housing models that are best suited to their unique needs and circumstances.
- Advocating for access to support and services: OTs can advocate for participants to access the support and services they need to achieve their goals. This may involve working collaboratively with support coordinators, service providers, and other healthcare professionals to ensure that participants receive the most appropriate and effective support.
Speech Pathologists can support people with psychosocial disability by:
- Speech pathologists conduct detailed assessments of a person’s speech and language, communication abilities, swallowing, and social skills. They can assess how a person’s mental health conditions impact their speech, language, voice, fluency, and cognitive and social communication skills.
- Speech pathologists provide individual and group interventions to support a person to achieve their goals. They use evidence-based strategies including cognitive-behavioural therapy, social skills training, voice therapy, and individualised strategies to improve the person’s ability to make friends, gain employment, and live a fulfilling life.
- They can prescribe assistive technology such as AAC to support the person to achieve their social and communication goals.
Physiotherapists can support people with psychosocial disability by:
- Conducting detailed assessment to understand the impact of a person’s disability including a thorough assessment physical function, such as mobility, pain, posture, balance, coordination, and general fitness.
- Developing goal-oriented plans. Physiotherapists work with participants to develop goal-oriented plans that are tailored to their individual needs, strengths, and preferences. This includes identifying meaningful activities and building skills to improve participation in daily life.
- Providing individualised therapy and intervention that can have a positive impact on quality of life, sleep, functional mobility and supports goal attainment using evidence based-strategies such as graded exercise, pain management, mindfulness, and motivational interviewing. Improving physical health through exercise prescription and other physiotherapy intervention can help manage comorbid conditions, side effects of medication and can have a positive impact on mental health.
- Providing assistive technology to support mobility and/or activities of daily living that can improve a person’s functional ability, independence and community participation.
- Working collaboratively with the person’s formal and informal support networks as required such as support coordinator, other allied health professionals and service providers, and any other nominated person in order to ensure participants receive the most appropriate and effective support to achieve their goals.
Behaviour Support Practitioners
Positive Behaviour Support involves working with the participant to support them to understand the social, environmental, and personal factors that influence behaviour, to increase their independence and ability to manage their life. Here are some ways that Behaviour Support Practitioners can assist with NDIS mental health support services:
- Undertaking functional behaviour assessments, developing behaviour support plans and ensuring that the right people are responsible for implementing the plan and have the capabilities they need to implement it.
- Working together with the person on individualised goals and skill building such as building and maintaining relationships, learning to self-manage and exercise and choice and control, building independence in the community and in the home (activities of daily living).
- Developing individualized strategies that are responsive to the person’s needs, in a way that reduces and eliminates the need for the use of regulated restrictive practices and supports the person to cope when faced in a crisis.
How can National 360 assist participants with NDIS Mental Health Support Services?
By working collaboratively with participants, carers, support coordinators, and other formal and informal supports, National 360 allied health professionals can help to optimize NDIS mental health support services and promote positive outcomes for participants. Our dedicated team of therapists are passionate about delivering high-quality mental health services to assist participants living with psychosocial disability.
Contact National 360 Today!
If you would like to learn more about National 360, our Occupational Therapy, Speech Pathology, Physiotherapy, and Behaviour Support services and how we can assist with NDIS Mental Health Support Services, click here.
If you’d like to enquire about our services or complete an easy online referral form, use the details below:
Phone: 1300 340 440
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