What is the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in Australia?
The NDIS provides funding to people living with a disability to access critical services that promote independence, community participation, social connectedness, choice and control.
This includes services such as:
- The maintenance of independent living in homes (support with daily activities like cleaning, personal hygiene, cooking, gardening and shopping).
- Building relationships (accessing social activities in the community, developing hobbies and interest, managing behavioural issues).
- Increasing capacity for employment where possible (through building skills and participating in education and training).
- Support for families and carers.
These services are delivered by various professions including support workers, group home providers, social workers, psychologists, speech pathologists, occupational therapists and professional cleaners.
Importantly, the services are paid entirely through the NDIS, so that participants and their families do not have to worry about the costs of essential services.
How does the NDIS work?
If you or a family member have a disability, we encourage you to contact the NDIS on 1800 800 110 to enquire whether you qualify for NDIS funding.
NDIS staff will assist you to apply for funding by taking the following steps.
Steps to obtain funding:
- After calling NDIS on 1800 800 110, you (or a carer) will be invited to answer some questions over the phone, or if you prefer, forms will be sent to you to complete and submit. This step is to express your interest in obtaining funding through the NDIS.
- Obtain supporting documents from your doctors, allied health professionals (psychologists, social workers, speech pathologists, occupational therapists, physic-therapists), family members and yourself outlining your permanent and lifelong disability. Submit this to the NDIS for assessment. This step is to assess whether you qualify to receive funding under the NDIS.
- If you qualify, the NDIS will arrange a meeting to explore your support needs and determine the funding you will receive. This step will determine how much money you receive, and for what services it can be used.
- Confirmation of funding. You are now free to use your funding to access services.
This process can feel daunting, however, if you need help, there are NDIS offices located in major centres that can help with the application process.
Mental Health Care and The NDIS
Mental Illness is one of the leading causes of disability in Australia. In addition to this, those with a physical disability are at a higher risk of developing a mental illness due to the additional life stressors faced.
The NDIS assists those with severe mental illness, or those with a disability who experience mental illness, to access the mental health support they need to progress and live more fulfilling lives. NDIS funding can be used to see specialist mental health practitioners such as psychologists, mental health trained social workers, nurses or occupational therapists.
How can Mental Health Professionals help under the NDIS?
Not all mental health care is covered under the NDIS, so you will need to find a provider who is registered with the NDIS in order to claim the full range of NDIS mental health services that you may be entitled to.
New Vision Psychology is a registered NDIS provider that offers a full range of treatments for mental health.
Services can include:
- managing depression and anxiety
- developing goals and interests, to increase motivation
- increasing confidence
- increasing social connectedness
- managing emotions and anger
- improving relationships
- entering the workforce
Services can also be provided to carers to assist with:
- developing behaviour management strategies
- supporting a person with a disability to engage more in activities of interest or hobbies
- setting healthy boundaries
- encouraging increased social participation
- developing healthier relationship dynamics
As well as counselling and behavioural services, New Vision Psychology can also support with:
- writing review letters for renewal of NDIS plans
- cognitive and functional assessments (for children and adults)
- mental health assessments
- attend case meetings and school observations (if required)
Mental Health Practitioners will also work collaboratively with your support team (such as your GP, Specialists and support workers), to make sure you are getting consistent care.
The ultimate goal of mental health support under the NDIS is to increase the wellbeing, independence, skills and fulfilment of people living with a disability.
How do I know if I can access mental health support with my NDIS funding?
NDIS mental health support comes under three main types of funding categories.
- Therapeutic support (Improved daily living)
- Behaviour support (Improved relationships)
- Early childhood interventions
You can check your NDIS plan to see whether your funding includes these areas.
New Vision Psychology offers all three main types of Mental Health NDIS support. You can contact us directly on 1300 001 778 for assistance to see whether your funding includes these categories.
Can I choose the Mental Health Professional that I want to work with?
NDIS is all about your choice and control. The difference between the NDIS and other health care benefit schemes is that you have a choice. You can decide which provider you go to and where your money will be spent so that you can get the care that you want. Because we are all different, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to healthcare, so the NDIS allows you to customise your health care plan to suit your needs.
At New Vision Psychology, you are invited to choose your mental health professional. We encourage you to provide feedback on your experience with the psychologist, and you are free to choose a different psychologist if you would like try another.
What Mental Health Services doesn’t the NDIS pay for?
The NDIS does not fund for Psychiatric services (service from a doctor who specialises in mental health, for the prescription of medication for mental illness).
The focus of NDIS funding for mental health is to address ‘psychosocial’ disabilities. Psychosocial disabilities describe disabilities that may arise out of mental health issues. Psychosocial disability is the impact of mental health in areas such as social connectedness, community engagement, employment and education. These are the areas that NDIS funding is used to overcome.