Mental Health and the NDIS - How does it work?

The NDIS has the ability to help support thousands of Australians suffering from mental illness across Australia; however, eligibility remains a challenging subject. Mental health services in Australia are delivered in a variety of environments across a range of providers and funded in different methods. At AlliedHealth we understand firsthand how navigating the murky waters of the system and understanding how it functions with the NDIS can be a complicated and stressful affair for those dealing with mental health, psychosocial conditions and for those who provide care. Today we'll focus on what constitutes NDIS eligibility for mental illness, and what supports are available. 

One in every five Australians, about 4 million people have a mental illness in a given year, and almost half the population has suffered a mental disorder at some point in their life. Of those individuals lies a smaller community of people whose disabilities have arisen from mental illness in a matter that affects their day to day living and their ability to engage in areas such as work, education, and social participation. In this case, it may be referred to as a Psychosocial disability and considered an eligible disability for funding under the NDIS. Due to the nature of psychosocial disabilities, the level of support needed for the illness may fluctuate. We often hear of participants going through 'good' periods, and 'bad' periods, in NDIS language, this is defined as 'variations in intensity' or 'episodic'. If you are suffering from an episodic mental health disorder that needs lifelong care, you may still be eligible to access NDIS funding.

It is important to recognise that the NDIS is designed to operate with traditional government systems, such as health and education, to assist participants with disabilities in accessing support. The NDIS should not, in any case, replace them, but work alongside them. Mental health treatment must remain the primary responsibility of the health care system of each state. For instance, people with early symptoms of mental illness should also use the health care system in the first place, so that they can receive the necessary treatment so that it can be handled appropriately and effectively.

So how can the NDIS help participants with a psychosocial disability? The NDIS funds "reasonable and necessary supports" that empower participants to reach their goals and aspirations in an achievable manner. So while it won't support medicine or clinical services accessed from current health systems, it will support participants to become independent, to be more active in social and community events, to find work and scale the ladder or make friends more comfortably. That could include funding for anything from assistive technology and home modifications to career guidance and transportation to social events or help with cleaning and maintenance at home.

AlliedHealth is a registered NDIS service provider working in providing proactive support services for participants living with mental illness and psychosocial disabilities since 2015 and have built a loyal reputation for genuine compassion and understanding in all facets of our work. For any questions or more information, contact our friendly staff on 1300 70 22 16.